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Denmark to summon Saudi ambassador over Khashoggi death

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Denmark to summon Saudi ambassador over Khashoggi death
Foreign minister Anders Samuelsen. File photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant/Ritzau Scanpix
17:24 CEST+02:00
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen is to summon the Saudi ambassador over the death of dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Samuelsen decided to call the meeting after Khashoggi was confirmed as having been killed during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi disappeared during a visit to the Istanbul consulate on October 2nd. Riyadh initially denied anything had happened to him.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in an address to the parliament in Ankara on Tuesday, rejected the later Saudi explanation that Khashoggi died in a fight in the consulate.

Erdoğan said that Khashoggi's “savage” murder was premeditated and called for an independent investigation in Turkey.

“After hearing Erdoğan's speech, which concludes that it was planned, and there are still many unresolved questions, I think it is fair to give the Saudi ambassador the opportunity to explain, and we will get the chance to ask a few questions,” Samuelsen told Ritzau.

In accordance with protocol, a senior Danish official will meet the ambassador before reporting back to Samuelsen, the ministry confirmed.

The minister did not comment on whether Denmark was planning any further measures against the Saudis.

“It is far too early to make conclusions. There is evidence that international pressure, which Denmark is part of, is working,” he said.

“We have gone from a situation where Saudi Arabia completely denied what happened to their admission that he was killed,” the minister added.

On Sunday, German chancellor Angela Merkel announced that her country was freezing weapons exports to the Middle Eastern nation.

German finance minister Peter Altmaier subsequently stressed the need for a united EU position over the issue.

But Samuelsen said he would take three initial actions before any further steps.

“We are now sending a signal by not attending the investment conference, we are summoning the Saudi ambassador to a meeting and we are continuing international pressure,” he said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Monday that neither the ministry nor the Danish embassy in Saudi Arabia would participate in the Future Investment conference in Riyadh this week.

READ ALSO: Denmark sold surveillance equipment to oppressive Gulf states: report

 
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