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Germany Wants Other EU States to Halt Their Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

© AP Photo / Mosa'ab ElshamySaudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 - Sputnik International
Berlin's call comes after US President Donald Trump and the UK's Brexit Minister Dominic Raab cast doubt on Riyadh's previous explanation that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a fistfight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

In an interview with the German public TV network ZDF, German Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier specifically urged EU member states to follow in Berlin's footsteps and stop arms exports to Riyadh due to questions raised following the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"For me it would be important that we come to a joint European stance. Because only if all European countries are in agreement, it will make an impression on the government in Riyadh. It will not have any positive consequences if we halt arms exports but other countries at the same time fill the gap," Altmaier underscored.

READ MORE: German Politicians Press Siemens CEO to Drop Out of Saudi Event

He explained that the goal is to increase pressure on Saudi authorities, saying that Berlin is not satisfied with Riyadh's current explanations regarding the Khashoggi case.

"The [German] government is in agreement that we will not approve further arms exports [to Saudi Arabia] for the moment because we want to know what happened," Altmaier added, referring to Khashoggi's death.

His statement came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that Berlin would stop arms exports to Riyadh amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Khashoggi's death.

READ MORE: Germany Coordinates Actions With EU, G7 on Case of Saudi Reporter Khashoggi

She was echoed by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who stressed that Berlin should not approve further arms sales to Saudi Arabia until the end of the investigation into the Khashoggi case.

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir extended his condolences to Khashoggi's family, saying that his death was a "terrible mistake" and that the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware of the incident.

Describing Riyadh's investigation, the arrest of 18 Saudi nationals thought to be connected to the Khashoggi case and the dismissal of two senior Saudi officials as "the first step of a long journey," al-Jubeir pledged that Riyadh was "determined to find out all the facts" pertaining to the matter.

READ MORE: Germany, France Demand Explanation From Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi's Death

The battle tank Leopard 2 A7 is presented by German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) on June 14, 2010 at Eurosatory 2010 in Villepinte near Paris - Sputnik International
Germany Rethinks Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Over Jamal Khashoggi's Death
Late last week, US President Donald Trump suggested that "obviously there's been deception and lies" concerning Saudi authorities' explanations of Khashoggi's death, which the kingdom claims was caused by a fistfight in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

UK's Brexit Minister Dominic Raab, for his part, insisted that the explanations were 'not credible', while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that he will deliver a statement revealing "the naked truth" on the death of Khashoggi at a meeting of the country's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Tuesday.

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