Britain has condemned Khashoggi murder, PM Johnson says

Reuters , Wednesday 3 Mar 2021

He said Britain was following a long-standing set of rules and conventions on arms sales

Boris Johnson
FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference in Downing Street on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, in London, Britain December 24, 2020. REUTERS

Britain has condemned the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

"We've condemned the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, we continue to call for a full investigation into the causes of his death," Johnson said when asked whether Britain would suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in light of the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

He said Britain was following a long-standing set of rules and conventions on arms sales.

The declassified report, based on CIA intelligence, claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Saudi Arabia on Friday said it "completely rejects" a declassified US report that found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved journalist Jamal Khashoggi's 2018 murder.

"The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the kingdom's leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions," the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia has previously described the murder as a rogue operation and has vehemently denied the crown prince was involved.

"It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions, is issued while the kingdom had clearly denounced this heinous crime, and the kingdom's leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again," the foreign ministry said.

"The kingdom rejects any measure that infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system," the ministry added.

Despite its anger over the report, Saudi Arabia also stressed that it was keen to maintain the relationship.

"The partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America is a robust and enduring partnership," the foreign ministry said.

"We look forward to maintaining the enduring foundations that have shaped the framework of the resilient strategic partnership between the kingdom and the United States."

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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