Berlin, (ANN)-Germany and France have agreed to adopt a common European position regarding restrictions on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia over the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that she and French President Emmanuel Macron had discussed the implications of Khashoggi’s killing at Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

She made the remarks at a joint news conference with Macron as well as Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the conclusion of a four-way Syria summit in Istanbul.

“We agreed that when we have more clarity, and we are counting on that, when we know who was behind this then we will try to find a unified European solution or reaction from all member states of the European Union to show that we negotiate on the basis of common values,” Merkel said.

The Elysee palace said the French and German leaders had a “relaxed exchange” in Istanbul and agreed not to announce their next positions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia without first coordinating “at the European level.”

Earlier this week, Merkel had described Khashoggi’s murder as a “monstrosity” and vowed to freeze all German arms exports to Riyadh until the case is “cleared up.”

The delivery of weapons to Riyadh has “nothing to do with Mr. Khashoggi. One shouldn’t mix everything up,” Macron said.

“What is the link between arms sales and Mr. Khashoggi?” he said, stressing that it was “pure demagoguery to call for a halt” to arms sales over the killing.

Saudi Arabia was the world’s biggest arms importer in 2017, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Europe and the US supply over 98 percent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia, the SIPRI data shows.

EU states under control of US

Author and journalist Eric Walberg told Press TV that European countries can create a policy to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi’s death, but such a measure is “useless” without Washington’s support.

“I know this is a trial for the EU to see if it can create a common voice and opposition perhaps to the US to create its own voice, but as I analyzed in my own writing, the EU is really not a credible alternative at this point to the US,” he said.

“The European countries are basically post-modern states that are under the control of the US in terms of foreign policy. So, this would be a sharp change, if they can create a policy not to allow arms exports, but that is useless without the US on board.”

Walberg also emphasized that he could not predict what US President Donald Trump would do.

“Trump as usual is vocalling. In one point, it sounds like he is going to almost cut relations with Saudi Arabia – he talks about this as the worst cover-up in history, but then at the same time he says we cannot,” he said. “So, the big point is which way he will go and I can’t predict which way Trump will turn.”