Activists holding banners in the shape of missiles reading in Spanish "Decisions that kill" protest against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia in front of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Andrea Comas)
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The killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi has prompted soul-searching in some European countries about their sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, long one of the biggest buyers of sophisticated Western weaponry. While the United States ranks first among Saudi's arms suppliers, Europe, too, has been selling billions of dollars' worth of weapons to the kingdom for decades.Spain's prime minister said Wednesday that his government would fulfill any past contracts regarding arms sales with Saudi Arabia despite his "dismay" over the "terrible murder" of Khashoggi earlier this month in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Wednesday that Paris will agree to sanctions against Saudi Arabia only if it's proven they are to blame in the journalist's killing."Most governments are threatening with arms and questioning arms exports because they know that is the most strong ... political pressure instrument they can use at this moment toward the Saudis," Cops said.But, he added, it's hard to tell if a global initiative on prohibiting arms exports to Saudi Arabia will take hold because of geopolitical and economic factors.
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