In call with Saudi king, Merkel threatens action for slaying of writer
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In call with Saudi king, Merkel threatens action for slaying of writer

German leader doesn’t elaborate on warning, but notes she urged a swift and credible investigation into death of Jamal Khashoggi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, October 24, 2018. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, October 24, 2018. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that her country is prepared to take “appropriate measures together with international partners” following the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Earlier this week Merkel said that Berlin would not export arms to Saudi Arabia for now in the wake of dissident journalist Khashoggi’s violent death.

Merkel’s office didn’t elaborate on the warning in a statement following a call between the German leader and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. In the call, Merkel condemned Khashoggi’s killing at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul “in the sharpest possible manner.”

She called on Saudi Arabia to “ensure a swift, transparent, and credible investigation” and hold those responsible to account.

Merkel also raised the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen during the call and urged Saudi Arabia to ensure access for humanitarian aid. Yemen has been ravaged by a three-and-a-half-year war between the Saudi-led alliance and Shite rebels known as Houthis.

On Sunday she told reporters at her party headquarters that “I agree with all those who say when it comes to our already limited arms exports [to Saudi Arabia] that they cannot take place in the current situation.”

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, whose ministry is responsible for authorizing weapons exports, told ZDF television Monday that “we won’t, at this point, approve any further arms exports because we want to know what happened.”

Germany last month approved 416 million euros’ ($480 million) worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia for 2018. In the past, military exports by Berlin to Saudi have mostly consisted of patrol boats.

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