United Nations, Nov 6 (IECurrentAffairs) Saudi Arabia expressed ‘regret and pain’ for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, during a scheduled review session at the UN in Geneva, while asserting its commitment to achieving the ‘highest possible standards’ in human rights in the country, including for women and migrants.
Confirming that an investigation is still on-going into the death of Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October, Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban told Member States in Geneva that King Abdel-Aziz had personally initiated the probe, United Nations news reported.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already expressed its regret and pain for the death of Jamil Khashoggi,” Al-Aiban said.
“King Abdel-Aziz has already instructed the prosecution to proceed with the investigation into this case according to the applicable laws and preparation to reaching all facts and bringing all the perpetrators to justice in order to bear the facts to the public.”
Following Al-Aiban’s comments, 40 Member States appealed to Saudi Arabia to find out what had happened to Khashoggi, many also calling for reform to the Kingdom’s freedom of expression laws.
Around 10 countries also expressed concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for coordinating air strikes which have killed civilians.
On the issue of Yemen, Al-Aiban insisted that Saudi Arabia “affirms its continuous support for the Yemeni people and their legitimate government”, which had requested assistance against Houthi attackers in 2015.
“The Coalition forces are doing their best to spare civilians, particularly women and children, civilian sites, and infrastructure as a side-effect of the armed conflict,” Al-Aiban said, adding that Saudi communities near the border with Yemen continue to come under attack from the rebel Houthi movement’s militia.