MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on October 25 for a call on EU countries to unite and impose an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia.

By 325 votes in favour, one against and with 19 abstentions, MEPs adopted a resolution condemning Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

They called for an impartial, international investigation into his death to find out what actually happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and for those responsible to be brought to justice.

The text notes that the murder is unlikely to have happened without the knowledge or control of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Following the brutal murder, the resolution reiterates the European Parliament’s previous call on all EU governments to reach a common position in order to impose an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia . A similar demand was put forward by the House on October 4, given the country’s role in the brutal civil war in neighbouring Yemen.

MEPs also call on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and on the member states to stand ready to impose targeted sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes against Saudi individuals, once the facts have been established.

The European Parliament urged member states to take the initiative at the next UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on November 5 to raise the issue of membership of the council for states with deeply questionable human rights records, including Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, who was a well-known critic of the Saudi regime, has been missing since entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2.

His disappearance has prompted widespread international allegations that he was tortured and brutally murdered by Saudi agents inside the building, although his body has not yet been found.

Saudi Arabia initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, but following heavy international pressure, the country admitted that the killing took place on the consulate’s premises.

(Photo: Via maxpixel)



The Sofia Globe staff

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