Germany urges joint European stance on Saudi arms exports

Oct 25, 2018, 20:55
Germany urges joint European stance on Saudi arms exports

Saudi Arabia's press agency says the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered condolences to the family of Jamal Khashoggi. The claim draws immediate skepticism from the kingdom's Western allies, particularly in the U.S. Congress.

He reiterated Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement from Sunday, saying Berlin "at this stage will not approve further arms exports because we want to know what happened", adding that "all explanations so far have been unsatisfactory".

Jubeir was the first senior Saudi official to speak on the record since the Saudis admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi was dead.

The Turkish government told USA officials that it has audio and video recordings, which confirmed that Khashoggi killed in the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. On suspicion of involvement in the death of journalist detained 18 people. "All of this needs to be explained in all its details", Erdogan said.

Khashoggi's killing has drawn worldwide criticism, prompting the kingdom on Sunday to describe it as a "huge and grave mistake", while adding that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware of the case.

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The results of the preliminary investigations revealed that the discussions that took place with the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi during his presence in the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul by the suspects did not go as required and escalated negatively which led to a fight between them and the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi, which aggregated the situation and led to his death, may God rest his soul, in addition to their attempt to hide what happened and to cover it up.

In addition, members of the Turkish-Saudi working group established in connection with the investigation into the disappearance of a Saudi journalist Jamal Haskaj, held a 9-hour search by the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. Prosecutors have previously questioned consulate staff; some Turkish employees reportedly said they were instructed not to go to work around the time that Khashoggi disappeared.

At the same CNN forum Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she doesn't believe Saudi Arabia's explanation that Khashoggi was killed during an escalation of a fistfight.

"The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority", he added. "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up", Jubeir said. "That is unacceptable to the government".

"For me, it is important to reach a joint European position. because only if all European countries agree will this make an impression on the government in Riyadh", Altmaier said.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said he would not attend the conference, met with the crown prince on Monday night.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi's murder inside the consulate.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that arms exports to Saudi Arabia "can't take place in the situation we're now in".

Turkish police on Monday found an abandoned auto belonging to the Saudi consulate at an underground vehicle park in Istanbul, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's mission. Commenting on the Khashoggi killing, US President Donald Trump told the Washington Post that Riyadh is "lying about the journalist's death". "It's not possible for the Saudi administration to wiggle itself out of this crime if it's confirmed, ' Mr Kurtulmus said".

"Jamal Khashoggi's killing is a violently planned and a very complicated murder, which was being covered up", Celik said.

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The report in Yeni Safak said Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage on trips to the United States, France and Spain this year, made the calls from the consulate.