Turkey playing political game

French Foreign Minister denies Paris has received recordings from Istanbul

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said that France was not in possession of the alleged recordings related to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as claimed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. — File photo

Paris — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said that France was not in possession of the alleged recordings related to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as far as he was aware, contradicting remarks by Turkey’s president.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes, but in an interview on France 2, Le Drian said this was not the case, as far as he knew.

Asked if that meant Erdogan was lying, Le Drian said: “It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances.”

Bandar Al Aiban, President of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia had told the United Nations top human rights body earlier in November that it was investigating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate last month with an aim of prosecuting the perpetrators.

US President Donald Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Saturday that Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of stability in the region.

In an interview given to German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag Saudi Ambassador to Germany Prince Khalid bin Bandar Bin Sultan reiterated that those responsible for Khashoggi’s death will be brought to justice

He said the authorities have already arrested 18 suspects in Saudi Arabia and there have been layoffs in the security apparatus. It is obvious that something went wrong. And we are very unhappy about it.

“We will ensure that those responsible are punished,” the ambassador said.

He said opponents of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, were using Khashoggi’s murder as a weapon.

“And instability in our country, home to the holy sites of Makkah and Madinah, would pose a risk not only to ourselves. The crown prince has finally addressed these problems. He has done things that young people here have been hoping for years,” he added.— Agencies


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