Washington, Oct 23 (PTI) :-
Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, and High Representative of the European Union in a strong statement said Saudi confirmation of Khashoggi’s death is a first step toward full transparency and accountability.
“However, the explanations offered leave many questions unanswered,” the statement said.
Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, where he had gone to collect papers for his marriage.
Saudi Arabia has said that he died in a fist fight, while Turkey has asserted that it was pre-planned and Khashoggi was brutally murdered.
“We reiterate our expectation for a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation by Saudi Arabia, in full collaboration with the Turkish authorities, and a full and rigorous accounting of the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s death,” the G-7 statement said.
Demanding that those responsible for the killing must be held to account, the G-7 said that Saudi Arabia must put in place measures to ensure something like this can never happen again.
“The circumstances of Khashoggi’s death reaffirm the need to protect journalists and freedom of expression around the world,” it said.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump Administration will follow the facts.
“We’re going to demand that those responsible are held accountable,” he said at an event in Washington DC.
“The word from President Erdogan this morning that this brutal murder was premeditated — preplanned days in advance — flies in the face of earlier assertions that had been made by the Saudi regime,” Pence said.
Pence said the killing of Khashoggi was also “an assault” on a free and independent press.