By Ayhan Simsek
BERLIN (AA) – Germany announced Monday that it halted all arms exports to Saudi Arabia in a move to increase pressure on Riyadh to conduct a full investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Economy and Energy Ministry spokesman Philipp Jornitz said the German government informed companies, who had already received export licenses, that currently no arms exports to Saudi Arabia would be allowed.
His remarks came after U.S. media reports claimed the CIA had concluded the Khashoggi’s murder was ordered by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
German government had decided last month not to approve any new weapon exports to Saudi Arabia, but Berlin stopped short of blocking the delivery of already approved arms sales.
On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman renewed call on Riyadh to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the murder of Khashoggi.
“The circumstances surrounding this horrendous crime have not been cleared up yet in a satisfactory manner,” Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Saudi Arabia had offered shifting explanations for Khashoggi's disappearance before suggesting he was killed during a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.
So far, 21 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder.