The murder of a Saudi Arabian journalist will be taken into account when considers its next weapons deal with the Middle Eastern country.
is still pursuing a military deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was flagged just last month, but officials now say it is not a priority.
The kingdom is under immense international pressure over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside its Istanbul consulate.
“We’re appalled by the death of Jamal Khashoggi and the means by which that came about,” Defence Minister Christopher Pyne told reporters on Wednesday.
“So in terms of future export permits, this incident will be taken into account about whether we wish to export a particular kit or services to KSA.”
Saudi Arabia is also under the global spotlight for its leading role in the war in Yemen.
In Senate estimates hearings, Labor senator Alex Gallacher quizzed Defence officials over seven “physical” military exports sent to the kingdom last year.
also exported three “intangible” exports, which officials loosely described as intelligence.
Four physical exports to Saudi Arabia have been approved so far this year.
Defence does not release details of the exports – including their worth or descriptions of the objects – for commercial reasons.
But Senator Gallacher wanted to know whether was aiding Saudi-led air strikes over Yemen.
“Are we sending them things to drop out of the sky?” he asked.
Senior Defence official Tom Hamilton said n exports were never approved when Defence suspected they could be used to commit human rights atrocities.
“They could not possibly be in Yemen or the permit would not have been granted,” Mr Pyne said.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen met with Mr Pyne in Canberra after her country suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne confirmed that option was being considered for .
“All options are on the table,” she told a Senate committee.
Senator Payne also said the Khashoggi murder was an “extremely serious situation of the highest order of magnitude.”
“We are not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation … all options are on the table in terms of ‘s prospective response,” she said.