00:59 GMT11 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that arms sales to Saudi Arabia had "nothing to do" with the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    "I do not believe in impulse or confusion. The sales of arms have nothing to do with Khashoggi case," the French president said on Twitter.

    Macron stressed that it was clear that the journalist, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, had been assassinated.

    "I strongly condemn this as I have always protected the freedom of the press… Once light has been shed on this crime, we will adopt clear, coherent sanctions, coordinated on the European level," he added.

    READ MORE: Haspel Briefs Trump on Khashoggi Case Findings After Turkey Trip — White House

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged earlier on Friday to stop all of Germany's arms exports to Riyadh until the killing of Khashoggi has been investigated.

    Addressing the case, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution Agnes Callamard stressed that the Saudi state was responsible for the murder of the journalist and can't "wash its hands" of responsibility.

    On October 2, The Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi, known as a critic of the Saudi government, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in order to fetch documents for his marriage and has never been seen since. Saudi Arabia initially denied reports that claimed the journalist had been abducted or murdered, but on October 19, Riyadh admitted he had been killed during a fight inside the building.


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    Murder, arms deal, Jamal Khashoggi, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia, France
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