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Tensions Flare between Paris, Ankara over Khashoggi Case

Tensions Flare between Paris, Ankara over Khashoggi Case

Monday, 12 November, 2018 - 11:00
French Foreign Minster Jean-Yves Le Drian. (AFP)
Ankara, Paris – Asharq Al-Awsat
A dispute erupted between Ankara and Paris on Monday in wake of French accusations that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was playing a “political game” in regards to the murder of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

French Foreign Minster Jean-Yves Le Drian announced Monday that Paris did not possess recordings related to Khashoggi’s killing, countering Erdogan’s claims a day earlier that France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes.

Speaking to France 2, Le Drian said that was not that case as far as he knew, reported Reuters.

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

That prompted a furious response from Ankara, which insisted it had shared evidence with Paris and said Le Drian’s comments were unacceptable.

“Our intelligence shared information with them on October 24, including the voice recordings,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. “It is very impudent for them to accuse our president of playing political games.”

The dispute between Ankara and Paris may hinge on Erdogan’s account that Turkey “gave” recordings to the other countries. Turkish officials said instead that France had been allowed to hear a recording, and blamed France for the misunderstanding, said Reuters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday Canadian intelligence officers have also listened to recordings of what happened to Khashoggi.

He clarified, however, that he had not listened to the tapes.

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