The German Security Council has given its approval to the multibillion-euro sale of 200 Leopard 2A7+ tanks to Saudi Arabia.

Der Spiegel News has reported that the major portion of the deal will be offered to German companies Kraus-Maffei and Rheinmetall, though the nation was in talks with the Spanish subsidiary of General Dynamics.

The approval follows decades of blocked sales of heavy weapons to the kingdom citing misuse of equipment against Israel.

The Middle East kingdom is also in talks with US companies over a $60bn deal of defence equipment that includes 84 new F-15 fighter jets and 178 combat helicopters.