Norway suspends weapons export licenses to Saudi Arabia

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway on Friday announced the suspension of new weapons export licenses to Saudi Arabia, following recent developments in the Gulf Kingdom and the situation. in Yemen.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry declined to say whether this decision was partly motivated by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

"We have decided that, in the current situation, we will not be issuing new licenses for the export of defense equipment or multi-purpose goods for military use in Saudi Arabia," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soereide in a statement.

Germany said last month that it would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing of Khashoggi is explained.

Norway's announcement came a week after its Foreign Minister summoned the Saudi ambassador to Oslo to protest Khashoggi's assassination.

The decision (to suspend licenses) was taken after "a broad assessment of recent developments in Saudi Arabia and the uncertain situation in Yemen," the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of forces against Iran-aligned Houthi fighters in Yemen in a conflict that has plunged much of the Yemeni population to the brink of starvation.

Reportage of Gwladys Fouché; Edited by Susan Fenton

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