Saudi Arabia’s explanations so far about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi leave “many questions unanswered”, G7 foreign ministers said Tuesday in a joint statement.
After more than two weeks of near silence, Saudi Arabia on Saturday finally admitted that Khashoggi, 59, was killed in their Istanbul consulate.
“Those responsible for the killing must be held to account. Saudi Arabia must put in place measures to ensure something like this can never happen again,” the statement said.
The statement was agreed by the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the high representative of the European Union.
In it, they “condemn in the strongest possible terms” the killing of Khashoggi.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman separately described as “deeply disturbing” reports that parts of Khashoggi’s body have been found in Istanbul.
“We are aware of the reports. They are deeply disturbing,” the spokesman said.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Jamal Khashoggi, for whom they must have been particularly distressing.
“The location of Mr Khashoggi’s body is just one of the questions we need answers to and as such we await the full results of the Turkish investigation.”
A former royal family insider turned critic of the Saudi crown prince, Khashoggi disappeared after he entered the consulate on October 2 to collect a document for his upcoming marriage.
“The confirmation of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi’s death is a first step toward full transparency and accountability. However, the explanations offered leave many questions unanswered,” the G7 ministers said.
“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 Mr. Khashoggi’s death.
“Those responsible for the killing must be held to account. Saudi Arabia must put in place measures to ensure something like this can never happen again.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that the “savage murder” was meticulously planned, demanding that all those linked to the killing face punishment.