By Ayhan Simsek
BERLIN (AA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly condemned the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and ruled out any weapons exports to Saudi Arabia until the incident is cleared up.
“What happened in Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Turkey was a monstrosity,” Merkel said on Monday, during an election campaign rally in Ortenberg, near Frankfurt.
“This must be cleared up. And until it is cleared up, there will be no arms exports to Saudi Arabia. I am saying this quite explicitly,” she said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia last week claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister admitted on Sunday that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate but argued that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “not aware" of it.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed that it was a “rogue operation” by individuals who exceeded their responsibilities and later tried to cover things up.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce initial findings of Ankara's investigation on Tuesday.