Australia considering Saudi arms sales ban

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Australia says a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia is one of the options it is considering after a journalist was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Australian officials say they are no longer prioritizing a defense industry agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne was asked in Parliament on Wednesday whether Australia would follow the lead of other countries and suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Payne responded that “all options are on the table.”

She added: “We absolutely recognize this is an extremely serious situation of the highest order of magnitude.”

Australia also responded to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul by boycotting an investment conference created by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that is now underway in Riyadh.