Germany Halts Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia Amid Jamal Khashoggi Scandal

Germany's move could encourage other countries to do the same.
Posted at 9:41 PM, Oct 22, 2018

Germany is halting future arms deals with Saudi Arabia amid uncertainty over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "There is an urgent need to clarify what happened. ... As far as arms exports are concerned, those can't take place in the current circumstances."

The move is the first of its kind by a major American ally and could put pressure on the U.S. to do the same. But that doesn't necessarily mean American sanctions are coming. President Donald Trump has sent mixed messages on whether he supports the Saudi government's account of what happened to the journalist. 

He's said Saudi Arabia has used deception and lies when it comes to explaining Khashoggi's death. But also said he finds the country's story credible.

Saudi Arabian leaders reportedly told Trump they had no knowledge of Khashoggi's death, which took place at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And a Saudi official told Fox News "rogue" citizens were responsible for his death.

Those explanations have been called a cover-up and faced global skepticism.

But Germany's decision to halt weapons sales amid the confusion may not be very impactful if other countries don't follow suit. Germany only makes up a relatively small portion of the country's European arms imports.