Disagreement on Norwegian reaction to Khashoggi murder
The Socialists (SV), Liberals (Venstre), Christian Democrats (KrF) and Conservatives (Høyre) disagree on how Norway should respond to Saudi Arabia admitting that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
They agree on one thing: Saudi Arabia’s latest spin, in a series of incredible explanations, that the 59-years-old journalist and regime critic was killed in a brawl at the Consulate in Istanbul is ridiculous.
Turkish intelligence sources believe that Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered to death by members of a Saudi Arabian death squad before the body was removed from the crime scene.
– What has happened is unacceptable, says Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives), who calls Khashoggi’s death deeply tragic and regrettable.
– I expect a prompt, open and credible investigation of the circumstances of the death, and that all those who are involved will be held responsible for this atrocity, she tells NTB.
Demand believable answers
She gets support from Abid Raja (Liberals), who believes Saudi Arabia’s explanation makes absolutely no sense at all.
– the explanation provided by Saudi Arabia is totally incredible. It is not believable. Do they think the whole world is thoughtless and naïve sheep? We need an answer, we have to demand answers, Raja tells NTB.
– Where are his bodily remains hidden? They claim that he died during a brawl? Oh, behave, you’ll have to go further into the countryside with that. His family and the rest of the world deserve to know where the remains of Khashoggi are located, says Raja.
He believes Norway, together with other European countries, must present a clear message to Saudi Arabia that the murder will not be accepted by the world.
– It is completely unacceptable to liquidate journalists – or others for that matter. I think it should be a collective European response. When Trump dilly-dallies, must Europe and Norway send a clear and strong message that this is not acceptable behaviour by a member of the international community, the profiled Member of Parliament for the Liberals elaborates.
– Norway must participate in talks with European countries about how Europe should deal with this. Norway is too a small a player to act alone, but Norway must issue a reply together with the EU, Raja continues.
Halt the export
MP for the Socialists, Petter Eide, disagrees that Norway cannot do anything on its own accord.
– The Minister of Foreign Affairs knows full well that what she says today is preaching before the deaf. Nothing will happen. The only thing that will be noted by Saudi Arabia is if we stop selling military equipment to them. That is the only clear message we can send to the regime at present, Eide tells NTB.
Norwegian weapons and ammunition are no longer allowed sold to Saudi Arabia due to the war in Yemen, but the regime is still allowed to buy other military equipment from Norway, so-called B-material. In the past year alone, B-material has been sold for more than NOK 41 million to Saudi Arabia, mainly from the Kongsberg Group.
Eide believes Saudi Arabia interprets this as a signal that Norway is an ally and that Norway supports the regime’s warfare in Yemen.
– Although that is not what’s intended, it is perceived that way by Saudi Arabia. It is absolutely crucial now for the Socialists (SV) that the Norwegian authorities use this opportunity to halt the sale of military equipment to them, Eide continues.
KrF believes, like SV, that Norway should, regardless of the Khashoggi case, also stop selling defence material to either Saudi Arabia or the other countries who are involved in the warfare in Yemen.
The Leader of KrF, Knut Arild Hareide, believes Norway must inform the Saudi’s that the murder of Khashoggi is unacceptable.
– What has happened, shows the brutal face of the Saudi Arabian regime in its vainglory. This is a macabre murder of a man, but also an unrestrained attack on the freedom of expression. Both of which Norway should clearly state that is unacceptable, Hareide writes in a text message to NTB.
Neither Labour (Ap) nor the Progress Party (FrP), both which are opposed to halting the exports of defence materials to Saudi Arabia, wish to comment on the matter on Saturday.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today