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International community continues to pressure Saudi Arabia to reveal truth

Demonstrators hold posters with picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 25, 2018. (REUTERS photo)

Shocked by the brutality and mystery of the Jamal Khashoggi case, the international community also continues to urge Saudi Arabia to tell the truth.

Austria called on EU member states on Friday to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was an "unprecedented breach of law." She accused Saudi Arabia of practicing massive human rights violations at home, and their controversial policies in the Middle East region.

"Especially the horrible war in Yemen and the Qatar crisis should be reason enough for European Union members to adopt a common stance towards Saudi Arabia," Kneissl told Die Welt newspaper.

"If we all, the entire European Union, would stop arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, this can contribute to ending these conflicts," she added.

Netherlands' Foreign Trade and Development Agency head Sigrid Kaag also cancelled his visit to the country which was arranged to improve bilateral economic relations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the other hand, called Saudi King Salman. According to the statement released after, she made it clear that the truth on the matter should be revealed as soon as possible.

Merkel also announced on Friday that Germany will stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia until the Khashoggi case is solved.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday also dismissed as "demagoguery" the calls by several European countries including Germany to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the murder of Khashoggi.

MOSCOW DOES NOT DOUBT RIYADH'S STATEMENTS

Unlike the rest of the world, however, Russia took a different position regarding the issue and preferred to side with the Saudis. The Kremlin said Friday that Russia believes Saudi royals were not involved in the murder of Khashoggi after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed it with King Salman. Asked by a journalist whether the Kremlin fully believes that the Saudi royal family played no part in the murder in Istanbul, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the question was "inappropriate."

"There's an official statement from the king. There's an official statement from the crown prince, and no one should have any grounds not to believe them," Peskov said.

Putin spoke with the Saudi king on the telephone Thursday evening, and they discussed "the situation around the case of Khashoggi," the Kremlin said in a statement.

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