UK urges Saudi cooperation in Khashoggi case

UK urges Saudi cooperation in Khashoggi case

British foreign secretary visits the Gulf region to build support for peace in Yemen

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) - It is “unacceptable” that the full circumstances behind Jamal Khashoggi's murder still remain unclear, the British foreign secretary said.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Jeremy Hunt urged Saudi officials for a full co-operation with Turkey to enlighten what had happened to Khashoggi.

Hunt will be the first U.K. Minister to visit Saudi Arabia since the murder of the Saudi journalist one month ago, a Foreign Office statement said.

“He [Hunt] will use his meetings to make clear the importance of Saudi Arabia cooperating with Turkey to conduct a full and credible investigation into Mr Khashoggi’s death,” it said.

“The international community remain united in horror and outrage at the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago,” Hunt said.

He added: “It is clearly unacceptable that the full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear.

“We encourage the Saudi authorities to co-operate fully with the Turkish investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the watching world.”

The statement added that Hunt will meet King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen and Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al Yamani.

“The Foreign Secretary is seeking to build support among international, and particularly regional, partners for new action in the UN Security Council to bolster the UN-led peace process, following his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths at the end of October,” it said.

“The human cost of war in Yemen is incalculable: with millions displaced, famine and disease rife and years of bloodshed, the only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace,” Hunt said.

“Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder at the UN Security Council and as a key influencer in the region, so today I am travelling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process.

“We are witnessing a man-made humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: now is the window to make a difference, and to get behind both the UN peace process and current UK efforts in the Security Council,” he said.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

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