October 17, 2018 / 11:02 AM / a month ago

Germany delays decision on ministerial trip to Saudi

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he would delay a decision on whether to go through with a planned visit to Saudi Arabia until Riyadh had given more clarity on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Maas said the trip, which had been intended as part of a push to repair strained relations with the desert kingdom, made no sense in the context of concerns over the fate of Khashoggi, whom Turkish authorities believe was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“We had planned a visit in the context of the dialogue with Saudi Arabia. We will wait on that now,” Maas told a Berlin news conference. “The Saudi side plans a statement (on the affair), and we will use that as a basis for deciding whether a trip makes sense at the current time.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Riham Alkousaa

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