PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saudi Arabia’s admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its Istanbul consulate was welcome “progress”, but urged the kingdom to follow through with a full and transparent investigation.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
“I note that the Saudi authorities have changed tack, admitted the facts and accepted some responsibility, so we’re making progress,” Le Maire said on France 3 television on Sunday. “But full light needs to be shed.”
How bilateral relations develop from here will “depend on the way the truth is aired, the investigation conducted and the results established,” Le Maire said.
“If they continue in this direction by establishing the truth with a full investigation, I believe we can maintain our strong strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia,” he added.
“If that doesn’t happen, nobody will understand – neither France nor the European Union nor the United States. Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner, but we can’t have a trusting relationship that isn’t grounded in truth.”
Reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by John Stonestreet