Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The Saudi flag flew in front of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. (AFP)

Berlin (ANTARA News/Anadolu-OANA) - Germany has announced on Sunday that it would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid doubts over Riyadh's explanation on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded urgent clarification on Khashoggi`s killing.

"As far as arms exports are concerned, those can't take place in the current conditions," Merkel said.

She also underlined that Berlin would hold talks with its international partners for a common response.

Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

On the day of Khashoggi's disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the consul general as well as the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Germany has called for a united international response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul.

"We need a united response from the international community," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter on Sunday, adding that Berlin was coordinating its stance together with France, the U.K., other EU partners and the G7 states.

Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2, when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

Maas said a "credible" investigation was expected from Saudi Arabia on the real circumstances surrounding Khashoggi`s death.

Germany`s top diplomat also signalled that Chancellor Angela Merkel`s coalition government would put on hold arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

"As long as this investigation continues, as long as we don`t know what really happened there, I think that there is no basis for a positive on arms exports to Saudi Arabia," he told German public broadcaster ARD.

Editing by Chaidar

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