Le Drian says not aware France has Khashoggi tapes, contradicts Erdogan


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

Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate last month in a hit which President Tayyip Erdogan says was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

Erdogan on Saturday said 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.”

Khashoggi’s murder provoked international outrage but little concrete action by world powers against Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter and a supporter of Washington’s plans to contain Iranian influence across the Middle East.

US President Donald Trump and Erdogan have discussed how to respond to the killing last month of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a White House official said on Sunday.

  • Erdogan on Saturday said France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes
  • Le Drian said Erdogan has a ‘political game to play in these circumstances’

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