UK condemns killing of Saudi journalist

UK condemns killing of Saudi journalist

Monday, October 22, 2018

The UK has condemned the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after saying that the claim he died in a fight was “not credible”.

Saudi Arabia claimed that Mr Khashoggi died in a fight at the country’s consulate in Istanbul.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the killing and said"we must get to the truth of what happened".

Labour has called for a boycott on arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the journalist’s death.


'Thoughtful and considered'

Protesters demonstrate against UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia during the visit of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March this year

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the UK “will act accordingly” despite it having close security and trade links with Saudi Arabia.

He told MPs: "We have an important strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia involving defence and security co-operation which has saved lives on the streets of Britain. We also have a trading partnership that supports thousands of jobs.

"So whilst we will be thoughtful and considered in our response, I have also been clear that if the appalling stories we are reading turn out to be true, they are fundamentally incompatible with our values and we will act accordingly.

"Indeed such reports are also incompatible with Saudi Arabia's own stated goal of progress and renewal.

"That is why the extent to which Saudi Arabia is able to convince us that it remains committed to that progress will ultimately determine the response of the UK and its allies - and we will continue to convey our strength of feeling on this issue to every level of the Saudi leadership."

Mr Hunt added: "The actions Britain and our allies take will depend on two things: firstly the credibility of the final explanation given by Saudi Arabia, and secondly on our confidence that such an appalling episode cannot - and will not - be repeated."


'These are supposed to be our friends' 

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson urged a strong response to Saudi Arabia over Mr Khashoggi's death.

Mr Johnson wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: "The Saudi Crown Prince has the chance to be the godfather of peace - and to save his country from the threat of missile attacks.

"Now is the time for him to act. Britain and Saudi Arabia have interests in common and historically friendly relations.

"But, at moments like this, it is the job of a friend to tell the truth; and the truth is that the killing of Khashoggi was a barbaric act to which we in Britain refuse to turn a blind eye."

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "These are supposed to be our friends. It's up to them to change their behaviour, it's up to us to stand up to them and it is up to us to make it clear that we do not accept this behaviour and they need to change their ways."