MEPs demand end to EU arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the European Parliament has called on EU countries to unite and impose an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia.

In a resolution adopted in parliament week, MEPs condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the torture and killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. 

They also called for an impartial, international investigation into his death to find out what actually happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, 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 4 October, 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.

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

The prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been missing since entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on 2 October. 

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 Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, but following heavy international pressure, the country admitted that the killing took place on the consulate’s premises. 

Mr Khashoggi was a well-known critic of the Saudi regime.

The text was approved by 325 votes in favour, 1 against and 19 abstentions.

Read also: Did Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Order the Murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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