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Austria calls for halting weapon sales to Saudi Arabia

October 27, 2018 at 11:42 am

Activists come together together to condemn exporting arms to Saudi Arabia on 9 September 2017 [Alisdare Hickson/Flickr]

Following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, all EU countries should stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said on Friday.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt while in Berlin, Kneissl said: “The halt in arms deliveries proposed by Chancellor Merkel would be a correct signal”.

Kneissl described the killing of the Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as “profoundly shocking” and an unprecedented violation of international law.

READ: Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The Austrian official added that her country had already stopped selling military equipment to Saudi Arabia in March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition started its violent offensive in Yemen. Kneissl stressed that halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia could help stop the “terrible war in Yemen”.

The war in Yemen and the crisis in relations between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies should prompt joint EU action, she said, adding: “If we as the entire EU stop weapons deliveries to Saudi Arabia, that could help end these conflicts”.