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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Pressure grows on Saudi Arabia

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide called the murder of the critical Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly at the hands of Saudi Arabian officials, “deeply tragic and unfortunate” over the weekend. She said Norway was waiting for a “credible” explanation from the regime in Riyadh.

“What’s happened is unacceptable,” Søreide wrote in an email to Norwegian media. “I expect that a speedy, open and credible investigation into the circumstances around the death be carried out, and that everyone involved be held accountable for this crime.”

Since some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s advisers and intelligence agents are believed to have been present at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul when Khashoggi entered it but never came out, those “accountable” reach the highest levels of power in the authoritarian country. Norway is joining worldwide outrage over the murder, which also is believed to have involved torture and the dismembering of Khashoggi’s body.

Søreide’s comments come after the EU, Amnesty International and other international organizations have reacted strongly to Saudi Arabia’s role in the murder. The Saudis at first denied any involvement and reacted harshly themselves to international criticism, but Saudi authorities changed their story over the weekend, confirmed the journalist’s death and claimed it resulted from a fight that began after an argument inside the consulate. Søreide declined to answer questions about what consequences the murder should have for Saudi Arabia, or whether Norway will take any punitive action against the country, which opened an embassy in Norway a few years ago. staff



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