After the United States and Germany, France was finally resolved on Thursday to sanction its ally, saudi Arabia, to the involvement of some of its nationals in the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, October 2, at the saudi consulate in Istanbul. A murder worthy of an operation of the “nickel plated Feet” initiating a shock wave in the world.
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“We have worked in consultation with the United States and Great Britain, but especially with Germany”
“The package was ready since Monday, when the Germans announced their sanctions,” says a source at the Elysée palace. The political decision had been taken at the same time as Germany. But it took a little time for administrative reasons. We have worked in consultation with the United States and Britain, but above all with Germany. We did the franco-German on this issue,” says one in the entourage of Emmanuel Macron.
As Berlin, Paris ordered a ban of the territory for eighteen nationals saudis involved in the liquidation of Jamal Khashoggi. The fifteen members of the commando, who went to Istanbul to assassinate the dissident, are included in this list, as well as three other persons suspected of having organized the murder. All will be denied access to the whole of the space Schengen. Their identity has not been specified. The Élysée said that these sanctions, which were adopted on a precautionary basis are likely to be reviewed, or extended depending on the progress of ongoing investigations.
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The Turkish press were published in October the list of members of the commando. Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, safety officer with the crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), that the CIA is accusing him of having been aware of the crime, would be the chief. Salah Mohammed al-Tubaigi, pathologist in the department of general security of the kingdom, would have dismembered the reporter.
The other Saudi arabians to be covered by the sanctions, the French would be: Abdelaziz Mohammed al-Hasawi, a member of the royal guard; Thaer Ghaleb al-Harbi, member; Mohammed Saad al-Zahrani, of the royal guard; Meshal Saad al-Bostani, a member of the air force (he died in a car accident on 18 October); Naif Hassan al-Arifi special forces; and Mustafa Mohammed al-Madani, officer of the secret services and lining of Khashoggi, who left the saudi consulate in by the back door, dressed in the clothes of the victim, his glasses, wearing a false beard and a pair of different shoes. Add to this list: Mansour Othman Abahussein, military member of the secret service ; Waleed Abdallah al-Shehri, of the air force; Turki Musharraf al-Shehri (position unknown) ; Fahad Shabib al-Balawi, of the royal guard; Saif Saad al-Qahtani, agent MB; Khaled Aedh al-Taibi, of the royal guard, and Bader-Lafi al-Otaibi, whose position is also unknown.
Unlike Berlin, Paris has not decided an embargo on arms sales to Riyadh, waiting to be clarified the circumstances of the murder
The Elysée specifies that among the other three targeted by the sanctions is the general Ahmed al-Assiri, number two of the intelligence services, and a graduate of Saint-Cyr and near, until then, the French ministry of Defence. It is him who managed, until his appointment last year to the information, the provision of satellite images of the French in Riyadh in the war that the kingdom has for 2015 against the rebels houthistes close to Iran in Yemen. One of the other two could be the adviser of the MBS, Saud al-Qahtani, likely brain of the operation.
Unlike Berlin, Paris has not decided an embargo on arms sales to Riyadh, waiting to be clarified the circumstances of the murder. Emmanuel Macron did not fear to engage in a debate with Angela Merkel, a month ago, when the chancellor took this decision. “Demagogic”, responded the head of the State. Since then, the United States, the main ally of saudi Arabia, have also sanctioned Riyadh. The hesitations of French had come to raise criticisms in the Hexagon. After the assassination, Emmanuel Macron had frozen the visits of ministers in Riyadh.