France has impose sanctions against 18 Saudi citizens over the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.
The restrictions follow U.S. Treasury-imposed sanctions on 17 people, including close aides of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced last week while Germany imposed similar measures on Monday.
Germany’s foreign minister said Berlin has banned 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe’s border-free Schengen zone because they are believed to be connected to the Khashoggi killing.
Now France has followed suit.
“These measures… aim to prohibit these individuals from entering national territory and the entire Schengen area” of Europe, the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
“They are conservative measures, subject to review or extension based on the findings of the investigation under way,” it said.
International pressure has mounted on Riyadh to find those responsible for the grisly murder of Khashoggi, a journalist who had been critical of Prince Mohammed.
For its part, Saudi Arabia has said that 21 people are in custody, with death penalties sought against five men.
U.S. President Donald Trump has defended his decision to avoid confrontation with Saudi Arabia on the issue.
“It’s America first for me,” Trump explained on Tuesday, vowing that he would not give up on hundreds of billions of dollars to Russia and China by confronting Saudi Arabia over the Istanbul murder.
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