France admits FM kept out of loop over Khashoggi case

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 13.11.2018 21:52
Updated 14.11.2018 00:09

The French Foreign Ministry reportedly said yesterday that Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's comments about Turkey over the recordings related to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder were misunderstood.

French daily Le Monde reported that the ministry said Le Drian's comments were misunderstood as he "wanted to say that he did not receive enough information to allow him to reach to a complete truth" with regards to the Khashoggi case.

On Monday, Le Drian has initially said he was "at the moment not aware" of any information transmitted by Ankara in response to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's statements on giving an audio recording of the murder to several states, including France.

When asked if the Turkish president was lying, Le Drian said, "It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances."

A representative of French intelligence listened to the audio recording and reviewed detailed information, including a transcript, on Oct. 24, the communications director at the Turkish presidency, Fahrettin Altun, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) following Le Drian's denials of receiving any recordings on Monday.

"If there is miscommunication between the French government's various agencies, it is up to the French authorities, not Turkey, to take care of that problem," Altun underlined. Altun said Ankara shared evidence linked to the murder with officials from a large number of countries and that France was "no exception."

"I confirm that evidence pertaining to the Khashoggi murder has also been shared with the relevant agencies of the French government," he said.

In an interview with France 2 yesterday Altun said, "We find it unacceptable that he accused President Erdoğan of ‘playing political games.'"

"Le Drian's most recent comments on Turkey's handling of Jamal Khashoggi's murder does not reflect the facts," said Altun. "Let us not forget that this case would have been already covered up had it not been for Turkey's determined efforts," he added. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also contradicted his French counterpart's claims yesterday and reiterated that the recordings were shared with French intelligence.

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