US President Donald Trump telephoned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron today, with whom he addressed his upcoming trip to France, but also the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the US exit from the pact against nuclear weapons. medium reach (INF) with Russia.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a brief statement that the two leaders spoke on "a series of international economic and security issues, including the situation in Syria, the medium-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the circumstances that they surrounded the tragic death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "
After confirming his death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Macron said "condemn (…) any attack on freedom of the press and journalists who denounce and risk their lives in such uncertain contexts", and asked to clarify some facts that described as "very serious" to find those responsible.
But the French leader has not been the only one who has expressed his concern about the facts, and today the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, decided to suspend the sale of weapons to the Saudis until the events are explained.
Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had an appointment to collect documents to marry his fiancée.
More than two weeks later and with increasing international pressure, Riyadh acknowledged on Friday that Khashoggi died in the consular offices in a "fight".
Turkish and US media, however, have reported that Ankara has evidence that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate by Saudi agents close to the crown prince, Mohamed bin Salman, who had traveled to Istanbul hours earlier, something that Riyadh has completely denied.
Meanwhile, Trump has continued to express his support for the crown prince, especially with regard to negotiations on arms sales, despite refusing to openly accept the Saudi version of Khashoggi's assassination and leaving a possible response to Congress.
Also, Trump announced on Saturday that his government will end the mid-range nuclear weapons treaty (INF), which the US He signed in 1987 with Russia, accusing Moscow of having violated it.
"We are not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and make weapons and we are not allowed to do it (we), we are the ones who have kept the agreement and we have respected the agreement, but unfortunately, Russia has not respected it, so we're going to rescind it, we're going to withdraw it, "he said.
On December 8, 1987, the then Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the American, Ronald Reagan, signed the INF in Washington.
It is the first agreement to reduce nuclear arsenals that led to the elimination in 1991 of all medium and short range ballistic and cruise missiles of both powers, a key step to end the tensions of the Cold War.
Trump will travel to France next month, like other international leaders, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.