Germany, France call for 'in-depth' probe into Khashoggi's death
Berlin/Paris : Strongly condemning the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi consulate in Istanbul, both France and Germany have called for "further" and "comprehensive" investigation into the incident.
"With great dismay, we have received the confirmation of the violent death of Jamal Khashoggi," said a statement issued by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reports.
Under massive pressure, Saudi Arabia admitted early Saturday that preliminary investigations by the Saudi Public Prosecution showed the missing journalist Khashoggi died after a fight at the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
"We condemn the act with utmost sharpness. We expect transparency from Saudi Arabia in light of the circumstances of the death and the background," said the statement.
It said that those responsible must be held accountable and that the information given by the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is insufficient.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drianm calling for an in-depth investigation into the journalist's killing, said: "France condemns this murder in the strongest terms. The confirmation of Jamal Khashoggi's death is a first step toward the establishment of the truth."
He, however, said that many questions remain unanswered about the circumstances of Khashoggi's death.
"... They require a comprehensive and diligent investigation to establish all the responsibilities and to ensure that those responsible for the murder...are held accountable for their actions," the top French diplomat said.
The Saudi journalist who lived in the United States, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
In an interview with the German public broadcast ARD on Saturday night, Heiko Maas said: "I think as long as the investigations are ongoing and as long as we do not know what happened there, there is no reason to take positive decisions on arms exports to Saudi Arabia," said Maas.
Saudi Arabia is the second largest customer of German weapons behind Algeria so far this year. Until September, the German federal government granted export licences worth 416.4 million euros to Saudi Arabia.
Prior to the announcement by Saudi Arabia, Heiko Maas had already put travel plans to Saudi Arabia on hold.