Denmark joins Germany, Norway in suspending arms sales to Saudis
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Denmark joins Germany, Norway in suspending arms sales to Saudis

Danish FM cites Khashoggi death and Riyadh’s role in Yemen war, as US announces peace talks to start next month

A woman holds a poster during the funeral prayers in absentia for Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed last month in the Saudi Arabia consulate, in Istanbul, November 16, 2018. (AP/Emrah Gurel)
A woman holds a poster during the funeral prayers in absentia for Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed last month in the Saudi Arabia consulate, in Istanbul, November 16, 2018. (AP/Emrah Gurel)

Denmark is the latest nation to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia, in light of the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives and the kingdom’s role in the war in Yemen, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday.

The move, announced by the Danish foreign minister, also covers so-called dual-use materials that can be applied to military purposes.

The decision followed consultation with other European Union foreign ministers, the news agency said.

Germany and Norway have also stopped supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, and earlier this month, Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau said he would weigh doing so.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen gives a press conference in Copenhagen, on October 30, 2018. (Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP)

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October by agents of the Saudi government. His body has not yet been found.

US President Donald Trump, however, said Tuesday that Khashoggi’s murder would not derail the US-Saudi relationship, in a move the American leader suggested also benefited Israel.

“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Trump said in a statement.

“They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region,” the US president added.

10-year-old Ghazi Saleh, who weighs just 10 kilograms, lies on a bed at Al-Mudhafar hospital in Taez, Yemen, on November 19, 2018. (Marzooq AL-JABIRY / AFP)

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition against Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in a war that is estimated by Save the Children to have caused
the death by extreme hunger or disease of at least 85,000 children aged under the age of 5.

After nearly four years, since the conflict began, up to 14 million people are at risk of famine, according to the United Nations.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced that peace talks to end the conflict would begin in Sweden next month.

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