With France targeting the individuals responsible for the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Finland have all halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Khashoggi vanished after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh had offered numerous and contradictory explanations for his disappearance before admitting that he was murdered and dismembered while still in the consulate
The assassination has badly damaged the reputation of 33-year old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is regarded as the Kingdom’s de facto ruler.
Paris has responded to the murder by imposing a Schengen-wide travel ban on 18 Saudi citizens linked to Khashoggi’s assassination. In a foreign ministry statement, France called the Khashoggi affair “a crime of extreme gravity,” calling for “a transparent, detailed and exhaustive response.”
Finland and Denmark have started to shift their attention from the Khashoggi case, focusing instead on the war in Yemen, and have moved ahead with a halt on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Finland’s foreign ministry announced that it will no longer issue arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia for Patria 40 AMV vehicles. In 2016, 63% of all Finnish arms exports went to the Middle East, mainly Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Helsinki said it had come to its decision as a result of the alarming humanitarian crisis in Yemen, a conflict that Saudi Arabia joined in 2015 when it sided with the Yemeni government against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, and Germany have also halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Khashoggi murder
US President Donald J. Trump has refused to consider a halt to the $130 billion of arms sales that the United States provides to Saudi Arabia.
Spain, the UK, and France have also dismissed calls for a moratorium on Saudi arms sales.