France threatens sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's death

Oct 25, 2018, 18:00 IST | ANI

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Saudi King Salman over the phone, where the former expressed grave concerns over Khashoggi's killing

France threatens sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's death
Jamal Khashoggi

France on Wednesday threatened to impose sanctions and other punitive measures against Saudi Arabia if their role in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was proven. France has been following the developments of Khashoggi's death very closely, the country's government spokesperson Benjamin Griveaux was quoted by Anadolu News Agency as saying.

Giving a stern warning to Saudi Arabia, Griveaux underlined that if Riyadh's role in the senior scribe's killing was confirmed by the French intelligence, then Paris will restrict arms sales and slap sanctions on the Middle East country.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Saudi King Salman over the phone, where the former expressed grave concerns over Khashoggi's killing. Last week, the French Foreign Ministry ¿strongly¿ condemned the killing and cancelled a planned trip of the country's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who was slated to attend an economic conference in Riyadh.

After initially rejecting Khashoggi's death, Saudi Arabia confirmed that the scribe was killed inside its consular premises in Istanbul on October 2 due to a brawl, a claim that was strongly rejected by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called it a "planned murder". He further confirmed that 15 Saudi nationals had touched down in Istanbul before the incident.

Khashoggi had gone to the Saudi consulate to collect papers which would allow him to get married to his fiancee on the ill-fated day, after which he was reported missing by his fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the building for him to re-emerge. Breaking silence over the issue, Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman condemned Khashoggi's death and termed it as "painful".

"The crime was really painful to all Saudis. And it is painful to every human in the world, heinous to every human in the world," the Crown Prince said. His comments come amidst US President Donald Trump terming Riyadh's attempt to hide Khashoggi's killing as the "worst cover-up ever". Meanwhile, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel is set to brief Trump over the issue on Thursday.

Many international leaders and organisations have been demanding a transparent and fair investigation over the scribe's mysterious death.

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