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Spanish government under pressure over Saudi defense deals

September 7, 2018

MADRID (AP) — Shipbuilders are blocking roads in southern Spain amid fears that Saudi Arabia could scrap a $2.1 billion-purchase of warships in retaliation to a move by Madrid to halt a shipment of bombs to Riyadh.

The new center-left Spanish government said earlier this week that it was not planning to deliver the 400 laser-guided precision bombs over worries they may be used to target civilians in Yemen.

Formal cancellation of the order, which dates back to 2015, is expected at a ministers meeting this month.

Saudi diplomats in Madrid declined to comment on whether that could lead to Riyadh canceling a July deal to buy five navy corvettes from Spanish company Navantia.

Jesus Peralta, a Navantia workers union leader, says 6,000 direct jobs over 4-1/2 years could be at stake.

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