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UK's Labour says it would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia

October 14, 2018 at 1:35 pm

UK’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, seen addressing the 2016 Labour Party conference on September 26, 2016 [Rwendland/Wikipedia]

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia if it was in government, its foreign policy spokeswoman said on Sunday after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.

Turkish sources have told Reuters the initial assessment of the police was that Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been deliberately killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has dismissed the claims.

Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow foreign minister, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that “the balance of evidence” suggested Saudi Arabia had killed the journalist.

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“We would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia in current circumstances until they changed their ways …We would be making it clear that we disagreed,” she said.

“I think our country has had enough of this. I think we have to stand up to them and have to say that the current behaviour is unacceptable.”

Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt has called on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

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