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Germany freezes arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Oct. 22, 2018 12:17 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 23, 2018 11:57 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, on Sunday, that she backs a freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Germany's Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, decided to freeze arms exports to Saudi Arabia as it faces a growing international condemnation as the investigation into journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death continues.

Merkel said that the ban on exports will stay in place while questions remain over Khashoggi's death, "I agree with those who say that arms exports, which are already limited, cannot happen given the circumstances."

Merkel reiterated her condemnation of the killing at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and called upon SA to provide further clarification on the incident and hold those responsible to account.

She added that Germany would discuss further "reactions" regarding the case with its international partners.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist living in Washington, disappeared on October 2nd after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain papers to marry his Turkish fiance.

Saudi Arabia initially claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after arriving from the back door, however, Turkish reports said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered with a bone saw by 15 agents dispatched from SA.

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed while in the consulate, but insisted that his death was the result of a "fistfight."

SA also said that 18 Saudi nationals were detained and two security officials dismissed.

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