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Germany Stops Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia, Rallies Other EU Members to Follow Suit

Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time on Friday that Jamal Khashoggi was dead

Germany has said it has stopped arms exports to Saudi Arabia following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and urged other European Union member states to do the same.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and efforts to get his whereabouts have prompted conflicting accounts of information from Saudi Arabian officials, sparking a worldwide outcry.

Saudi officials had initially said the journalist left the consulate unharmed on October 2, but on Friday – under intense pressure to explain Khashoggi’s whereabouts, admitted for the first time that he was dead. They said he died from a fist-fight.

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German economics minister Peter Altmaier on Monday said that Riyadh’s explanation of the killing had so far not been satisfactory, and that the government would not approve any arms shipments before a credible explanation as given.

“The government is in agreement that we will not approve further arms exports for the moment because we want to know what happened,” he told the broadcast ZDF.

He rallied EU member to follow suit and stop all arms transactions with Saudi Arabia.

“Only when all European countries agree does that make an impression on the government in Riyadh,” he said. “It has absolutely no positive consequences if we stop arms exports but at the same time other countries fill this gap.”

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday added his voice to the calls for details that led to Kashoggi’s death, saying he was “not satisfied” with Saudi Arabia’s latest explanation. He had previously appeared to accept Saudi assurances that “rogue killers” may have murdered Khashoggi.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to give “full details” of the incident at a meeting of Turkey’s ruling party on Tuesday.

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Written by MT

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