France denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing games

President Erdogan claimed tapes related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi had been handed to France and several other countries. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 November 2018
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France denies receiving Khashoggi tapes from Turkey and accuses Erdogan of playing games

  • Erdogan on Saturday said France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes
  • Le Drian said Erdogan has a 'political game to play in these circumstances'

LONDON: France on Monday denied being in possession of recordings related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and accused Turkey of playing political games with the case.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that France, Germany and Britain had been handed the tapes, but French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said this was not the case, as far as he knew.

“If the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le Drian told French TV. “That means he has a political game in this situation.” 

Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in the United States, was killed in the Kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last month.

Saudi Arabia said the 59-year-old had been murdered at the mission in a “rogue” operation by people operating beyond their authority. Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with his death.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.