A French journalist said the killing of Jamal Khashoggi “embarrassed” France and there was no doubt that Turkey had shared information and recordings regarding the murder with his country.
“This incident embarrassed France,” Jean-Dominique Merchet, working for French daily L’Opinion, told Anadolu Agency, and added that Saudi Arabia was a strategic ally of his country.
“There is no doubt that Turkey gave information to France. Remarks of Canada’s Prime Minister [Justin Trudeau] stating that he listened to the recordings is proof that the information reached France as well,” said Merchet.
Merchet said that motive behind French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s remarks was to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Le Drian claimed that his country does not have the recordings, following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks stating that Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi killing with some countries including France.
“The French foreign minister went too far, and he has to know how to talk to a president,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, accusing Le Drian of not telling the truth.
“It is clear that the Khashoggi murder has weakened [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman and his image in the international community has been damaged,” Merchet said, adding that Saudis were not aware of how serious the issue was.
Merchet said that in order to make progress on the Khashoggi case and Yemen issues, everyone should have the same opinion in Europe.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post, was killed shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Oct. 2.
Saudi Arabia had offered shifting explanations for Khashoggi’s disappearance before suggesting he was killed during a botched rendition operation by rogue agents.