Denmark suspending weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing
Denmark announced on Thursday that it is suspending future approvals of weapons and military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia, a response to the killing of a U.S.-based journalist and the government’s role in the conflict in Yemen.
“With the continued deterioration of the already terrible situation in Yemen and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, we are now in a new situation,” Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Reuters notes that Denmark issued 10 approvals related to weapons and military equipment exports with Saudi Arabia in 2017. A spokesman said the approvals already granted won’t be suspended.
The move from Denmark comes as nations around the world deliberate on how they will respond to the death of Khashoggi, who was killed after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Germany announced earlier this week that it has stopped exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia. The country also banned 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe’s Schengen Area.
France has said that it will decide soon on sanctions for the kingdom.
But President Trump has said the U.S. will maintain a “steadfast” alliance with Saudi Arabia, and has also cast doubt that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the journalist’s killing.
The Washington Post reported last week that the CIA concluded that bin Salman ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi.
“As I said, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But I will say very strongly that it’s a very important ally. And if we go by a certain standard we won’t be able to have allies with almost any country,” Trump said on Thursday, echoing a viewpoint he expressed in a statement earlier this week.
Trump also claimed that the CIA has not come to a conclusion regarding Khashoggi’s death, before stating that “maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place.”
The Saudi government has said Khashoggi was killed by a team that met him when he arrived at the consulate. The kingdom has denied the crown prince had any knowledge about the operation.