Finland, Denmark and Germany stop arm sales to Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi's death

CLOSE

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, arrived in Abu Dhabi on a state visit on Thursday. This is the crown prince’s first trip abroad since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Nov. 23)
AP

WASHINGTON – Three countries have halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia while the U.S. has stuck by the kingdom after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Finland and Denmark joined Germany this week in halting all future arms sales and sending of military equipment to the Saudi government. Germany and Denmark cited the killing of Khashoggi while Finland said in a statement much of its decision was related to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 

The October killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sparked criticism by both Republicans and Democrats and put intense pressure on President Donald Trump to criticize a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. After reports surfaced showing a CIA assessment concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, Trump said the U.S. would stick by the kingdom. 

The president cited oil prices and an arms deal in his rationale. He publicly questioned the CIA’s assessment, emphasizing Salman’s denials even as the Saudi government’s account of Khashoggi’s fate has repeatedly shifted. 

More: Jamal Khashoggi: Lawmakers promise scrutiny of Trump’s refusal to rebuke Saudis over journalist’s murder

More: CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s killing: reports

More: ‘Stop starving people as instrument of war.’ One Republican’s blunt message to Saudis — and Trump

On Thursday, Trump said the crown prince “regretted the death more than I do” and reiterated his position that there was no conclusive evidence tying the crown prince to Khashoggi’s murder. 

“The CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain things, and in pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn’t,” the president said. 

Meanwhile, other countries have taken steps to block future arms sales with the regime over the killing and its war in Yemen, which has killed thousands, including children, and left millions at risk of starvation. 

In a televised interview on Thursday, Denmark’s foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, called the Saudi regime “destructive in many fields” and said it was halting exports of military equipment because of “the continued worsening of the already terrible situation in Yemen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

Samuelsen said he hoped “the Danish decision can create further momentum and get more European Union countries to support tight implementation of the E.U.’s regulatory framework in this area,” according to the Associated Press. 

The AP reports in 2017, Denmark’s overall exports to Saudi Arabia were about 5.08 billion kroner, or $763 million.

Finland’s Foreign Ministry made a similar announcement, also Thursday, saying it wouldn’t allow any future arms export licenses to sell materials to the Saudi government. The country specifically cited the worsening crisis in Yemen. 

Posted!

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

  • Turkish police stand guard as they cordoned off an underground car park, Oct. 22, 2018, in Istanbul, after they found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate. 1 of 36
  • People look from their window at an underground car park cordoned off by Turkish police, Oct. 22, 2018, in Istanbul.2 of 36
  • Turkish forensics arrive at an underground car park cordoned off by Turkish police, Oct. 22, 2018 in Istanbul, after they found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate. 3 of 36
  • Security personnel guard Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal's entourage.4 of 36
  • Turkish forensics leave an underground car park cordoned off by Turkish police, Oct. 22, 2018, in Istanbul, after police found an abandoned car belonging to the Saudi consulate, three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate. 5 of 36
  • Security personnel guarding Saudi Arabia's consulate are seen behind barriers blocking the road leading to the diplomatic mission, in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. 6 of 36
  • In this image made from a March 2018 video provided by Metafora Production, Jamal Khashoggi reacts as a cat jumped on his lap, while speaking in an interview at an undisclosed location. Eighteen days after Khashoggi disappeared, Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, that the 59-year-old writer has died in what it said was a fistfight inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.7 of 36
  • A security guard walks outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight in consulate, finally admitting that the writer had been slain at its diplomatic post. The overnight announcement in Saudi state media came more than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the building for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiance, and never came out.8 of 36
  • A security guard stands outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight in consulate, finally admitting that the writer had been slain at its diplomatic post. 9 of 36
  • A woman stands next to police barriers, in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on Oct. 20, 2018. Saudi Arabia admitted on October 20, 2018 that critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul consulate, saying he died during a brawl, as Turkey vowed to release the full findings of its own investigation. 10 of 36
  • Media and TV journalists gather in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, on Oct. 20, 2018. 11 of 36
  • Head of the Turkish - Arab Media Association Turan Kislakci (C) speaks to media in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 20, 2018. 12 of 36
  • Sherine Tadros, head of New York (UN) Office of Amnesty International, speaks during a news conference at the United Nations, Oct. 18, 2018. Members from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders make an appeal regarding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.13 of 36
  • Turkish forensic officers leave the Saudi consulate after they conducted a new search over the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, early Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. 14 of 36
  • Turkish forensic officers arrive at the Saudi consulate to conduct a new search over the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, early Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Khashoggi inside the consulate on Oct. 2. 15 of 36
  • Turkish police officers prepare to enter the residence of the Saudi consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi to conduct a search after the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. 16 of 36
  • Turkish forensic search for evidence at the garage of Saudi Arabia's Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi, Oct. 17, 2018, in Istanbul. 17 of 36
  • A Turkish police officer walks inside the property of the residence of the Saudi consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi as Turkish police conduct a search after the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.18 of 36
  • Security members of the consulate wait in front of the gate door of the Saudi Arabian consulate, Oct. 17, 2018, in Istanbul. 19 of 36
  • A Turkish police officer searches inside the residence of the Saudi consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi as Turkish police conduct a search after the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.20 of 36
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday Oct. 16, 2018. Pompeo also met on Tuesday with Saudi King Salman over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished two weeks ago during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.21 of 36
  • A security member is seen inside the entrance of the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. A Turkish forensics teams finished a search for evidence inside the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul early Tuesday morning, over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.22 of 36
  • Turkish forensic police officers arrive for investigation at the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul, Oct. 16, 2018. 23 of 36
  • A Turkish forensic police officer searches for evidence as he works on the rooftop of the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, late Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. 24 of 36
  • Turkish forensic police officers arrive for an investigation at the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul, Oct. 16, 2018. 25 of 36
  • Two trucks are loaded with evidence from Turkish forensic police officers as they take part in the investigation of the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 16, 2018. 26 of 36
  • A Saudi investigation delegation enters the consulate before Turkish forensic police and investigation delegation arrive at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 15, 2018 in Istanbul.27 of 36
  • Tawakkol Karman, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2011, gestures as she talks to members of the media about the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.28 of 36
  • A security guard walks in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. Veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared Oct. 2, 2018, while on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, sparking an international uproar involving the kingdom, Turkey and the United States that remains unresolved. 29 of 36
  • This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018, claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.30 of 36
  • A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, Oct. 8, 2018. 31 of 36
  • Security guards stand outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018.32 of 36
  • The shadow of a security guard is seen on the entrance door of the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 12, 2018.33 of 36
  • Protestors hold pictures of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate, Oct, 8, 2018 in Istanbul.34 of 36
  • A security guard speaks with colleagues at the entrance of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. 35 of 36
  • A bird flies next to Saudi Arabia's flag at the roof top of their consulate building in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. Veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared over a week ago while on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, sparking an international uproar involving the kingdom, Turkey and the United States that remains unresolved. 36 of 36

“The government discussed arms export matters and decided that in the current situation there are no foundations for new arms export authorizations to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates,” Finland’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “In its deliberations, the government laid stress on the alarming humanitarian situation in Yemen, in particular.”

The two countries made their announcements after Germany urged other European nations to halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia last month, according to Reuters. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in October that the country would stop all arms deals due to the conflicting statements about Khashoggi’s death. German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Reuters that the country hoped other European allies would come together and made similar pledges to put more pressure on the Saudi government. 

“Because only if all European countries are in agreement, it will make an impression on the government in Riyadh,” Altmaier said. “It will not have any positive consequences if we halt arms exports but other countries at the same time fill the gap.”

Reuters reported that Germany this year had approved exporting about $462 million worth of arms materials to the Saudi government.

CLOSE

An analyst says President Donald Trump’s decision not to bring more penalties against Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is “a slap in the face of the intelligence community” (Nov. 20)
AP

In the U.S., some members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, are still pushing for a harsher response to Khashoggi’s death and dismemberment. 

Lawmakers have until now done little to push back against Trump’s approach to foreign policy – standing aside as he launched a trade war, picked fights with long-time U.S. allies and embraced dictators from North Korea to Russia.

But the Khashoggi killing has sparked a nascent legislative rebellion that promises to escalate when Democrats take control of the House in January. A clash over Trump’s handling of the journalist’s murder – and his broader embrace of Saudi Arabia – could unfold as early as next week, when Congress is set to reconvene.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has requested a classified briefing from top Trump administration officials – including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis – on Khashoggi’s murder as well as the U.S. support for a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen and the Associated Press

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/582029302/0/usatodaycomwashington-topstories~Finland-Denmark-and-Germany-stop-arm-sales-to-Saudi-Arabia-after-Khashoggiaposs-death/