Germany considers freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Germany considers freezing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, over Khashoggi killing
2 min read
21 October, 2018
Germany is looking into banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia following murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Maas issued some of the strongest words against Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Germany is considering a freeze on arms to Saudi Arabia, following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German public broadcaster ARD on Saturday that Saudi Arabia might be sanctioned over its acceptance of the death of Khashoggi.

"As long as these investigations continue, as long as we don't know what happened there, there's no basis for reaching positive decisions on arms exports to Saudi Arabia."

Earlier, Maas and Chancellor Angela Merkel released a joint statement calling on Saudi Arabia to hold to account those responsible for the Washington Post columnist's death.

Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest buyers of German arms, amounting to almost half a billion dollars.

Maas also said he "certainly wouldn't" be attending any events in Riyadh in the near future.

France has joined Germany in condemning the Saudi announcement on Saturday morning, when Riyadh claimed Khashoggi was killed in brawl at the consulate.

The account has been generally derided by observers, although US President Donald Trump - who is considered very close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - considered the story "credible".

Turkey has warned it would not allow a cover-up.

"Turkey will never allow a cover-up," a spokesperson from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) said.

More alarming for Riyadh, the party also warned it would reveal "the truth" of Khashoggi's killing.

"Turkey will reveal whatever had happened," said Omer Celik of the AKP said, according to Anadolu.

"Nobody should ever doubt about it. We are not accusing anyone in advance but we don't accept anything to remain covered [up]."