"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, Europe News reported.
Macron stressed that it was clear that the journalist, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, had been assassinated, adding that "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".
Macron dismissed calls by several European countries to suspend arms sales to Riyadh following Khashoggi's murder, calling them "pure demagoguery".
Any sanctions should target "a field of activity ... or individuals or interests who have been shown to have had something to do with the murder of Mr. Khashoggi", Macron told a news conference in Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, adding that "it's pure demagoguery to say that we should stop selling arms".
"That has nothing to do with the Khashoggi affair. That is linked to the situation in Yemen [where Saudi Arabia is fighting Ansarullah forces], which requires a very close follow-up," he stated.
He added that any sanctions following Khashoggi's killing should be imposed at a European level "once the facts have been established".
Macron on Wednesday said he had told King Salman of Saudi Arabia that Paris, in coordination with partners, could take action against those held responsible for the murder of Khashoggi.
Macron expressed profound outrage during a phone conversation with Salman, the French presidency said in a statement, adding the president had asked the Saudi King that the circumstances around Khashoggi's death be fully disclosed.
French Government Spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Wednesday that France will take "punitive measures" if Saudi Arabia is "proven" to be behind the murder of Khashoggi, adding that Paris would first have to verify Riyadh’s involvement.
"In the event that Saudi Arabia’s responsibility is proven, we will then draw the consequences and take punitive measures," Griveaux stated after a cabinet meeting, while emphasising that Riyadh’s role would have to be "corroborated by our intelligence services" first.
Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's policies, went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage document. Ankara has accused Riyadh of murdering the Khashoggi and smuggling his body out of the consulate in pieces. Saudi Arabia first denied the charges as “baseless", stressing that the journalist left the consulate shortly after he arrived, without providing any evidence.
But, after two weeks of denial by Saudi officials, Riyadh confessed that Khashoggi had been murdered by its security agents at the Istanbul consulate, but made no mention of where his body is. It also sacked a top general and arrested several people.
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