Paris City Hall is set to name one of the city’s streets after a Saudi journalist, who was killed in Istanbul last year. It appears, however, that the initiative is far from spontaneous.
Sputnik France has obtained information that it is Qatar that is pushing for a Paris street to be named after Jamal Khashoggi. Intelligence Online reported this on the evening of 17 April and it is possible that the issue could soon be reported in Libération.
On 18 April, Romain Caillet, an expert on Islam and the global jihadist movement, tweeted about certain actions in this direction by Jean-Pierre Duthion, a lobbyist close to the Qatari government:
Asked by Sputnik, Jean-Pierre Duthion declined to comment on the issue. If proven, this lobbying could be considered part of the war for influence between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, especially since the embargo imposed on Doha by Riyadh in June 2017. Romain Caillet considers this assumption quite credible:
“There is intense lobbying on both sides … as part of a struggle for influence between the Gulf countries and everyone is trying either to find some compromising information on their opponent or to expose their failures. … Qatar is defending itself and focusing on Saudi Arabia’s failures. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are doing the same thing with Qatar … There is a king of a game going on here — who can discredit the opponent more”, Romain Caillet pointed out.
This struggle for influence seems to have extended into three districts of Paris — the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth — one of which could have a street named after Jamal Khashoggi. Sputnik France contacted the press service of Paris City Hall, but the latter hadn’t commented on the issue as of the time of this article’s publication.
Khashoggi went missing on 2 October after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riyadh initially denied any knowledge of the journalist’s whereabouts, but later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in a “rogue operation”, with his body being dismembered and taken out of the consulate. Saudi authorities have since charged 11 people with Khashoggi’s murder, with some of them facing the death penalty.