World reacts to Saudi confirmation of Khashoggi's killing

TEHRAN, Oct. 20 (MNA) – After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia for the first time confirmed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia for the first time admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul, saying he died in brawl but made no mention of where his body is. 

Here's a round-up of international reaction related to the confirmation of the Saudi journalist's killing:

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Saturday that an international investigation is urgently needed to examine evidence and clarify circumstances surrounding the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Rigorous, international investigation urgently needed to examine evidence, clarify circumstances surrounding death of Jamal Khashoggi," Tajani said in a tweet.

The UK Foreign Office said on Saturday that "we send our condolences to Jamal Khashoggi’s family after this confirmation of his death. We are considering the Saudi report and our next steps. As the Foreign Secretary has said, this was a terrible act and those responsible must be held to account."

Commenting on the recent announcement of the Saudi prosecutor-general concerning Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's death, Turkey vowed not to rush to conclusions. 

"Turkey will reveal whatever had happened. Nobody should ever doubt about it," Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said, as cited by the Anadolu news agency.

US President Donald Trump, describing the circumstances around Jamal Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi Consulate General as “unacceptable,” told reporters that the matter should be handled with care because Riyadh was a crucial ally "against Iran" and billions of dollars in arms sales were at stake.

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally but what happened is unacceptable. I would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may determine to do if anything. But I would prefer that we don’t use as retribution, canceling the $110 billion-worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs,” he said.

Politicians in the US have reacted in disbelief at claims in Saudi Arabia's state media that Khashoggi died following a "fist fight".

"To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement," prominent Republican Senator Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter, adding it was "hard to find this latest 'explanation' as credible".

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said he is personally "chasing" the investigation into prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish media also responded to the statement saying that Saudi Arabia's official narrative about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi did not match the information leaked by Turkish investigation team.

In a statement released on Friday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that he is “deeply troubled” by the reported confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General also announced on Friday that the Secretary-General is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. He extends his condolences to Mr. Khashoggi’s family and friends. The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.

Amnesty International also said the "impartiality" of a Saudi investigation into the killing of Khashoggi would remain in question. Amnesty's Rawya Rageh said early on Saturday that the rights group and other organisations have been very clear that what is needed is "an impartial and independent investigation by the UN to find out what happened and ensure justice" for Khashoggi.

She said rights groups have been concerned of a "whitewash" in the investigation.

LR

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