New Zealand finally gets a foreign policy position right, condeming Saudi Arabia for killing of journalist

The Government has finally made a correct step in foreign policy condemning the murder by Saudi agents of a journalist: Quote:

The Government is condemning “in the strongest possible terms” the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives.

“Those responsible for his death must be held accountable,” Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

It follows an admission from the Saudi Government that Khashoggi, a US resident and?Washington Post?columnist, was killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Saudi authorities previously said that Khashoggi had left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but provided no evidence to support the claim.

Turkish investigators, who have criticised the Saudis for not co-operating with their investigation, have said that Khashoggi was dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

An investigation by the Saudi Government’s general prosecutor has now found that Khashoggi was in the consulate when a quarrel broke out, escalating to a fatal fight.

Peters said: “While this is an important admission, the killing by government operatives is deeply disturbing. Many questions remain unanswered.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials met with the Saudi Embassy in Wellington on Tuesday to raise concerns over the disappearance, and have reiterated the need for the investigation to be full and transparent.

The disappearance created a diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia and the West, with many international firms pulling out of a high-profile investment summit, the Future Investment Initiative conference, due to take place later this month in Riyadh.

Trade Minister David Parker said that New Zealand officials will not attend the conference.

“As for the trading relationship in the region, the FTA talks remain stalled pending the Gulf Cooperation Council resolving their dispute with Qatar, which we do not expect to be resolved in the near future,” Parker said.

The New Zealand Government is awaiting the outcome of the Turkish investigation and is keeping all options for next steps under review.

“We look forward to the results of the investigation being led by Turkey, and we urge Saudi Arabia to implement its undertaking to participate openly and transparently in that investigation,” Peters said.

“With the confirmation of the death, we express our deepest condolences to Mr Khashoggi’s family and friends.”

Can we have our sheep farm back now please?

Saudi Arabia has behaved like a rogue state, perhaps we should treat them like one.