Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

France's Macron agrees with Riyadh on curbing Iran 'expansionism'

Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, Saudi Arabia Date 07/07/2008 Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in Saudi Arabia Véronique Dauge UNESCO
Ella Tate | 12 April, 2018, 00:51

The case was first revealed by French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, just days before de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his three-day visit to France as part of a worldwide whistlestop tour promoting Saudi Arabia's cultural agenda.

"If there is one chance that his project succeeds, then it's the responsibility of France to accompany him", Macron said on Tuesday.

"We will continue to be extremely vigilant on this point", Macron said.

Pressure has been mounting on Macron to scale back arms support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are leading the coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group that controls most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa. Yemeni rebels have launched ballistic missiles at the kingdom. "It is obvious that we will not tolerate any ballistic activity that threatens Saudi Arabia".

Macron stressed the need for "respect for worldwide humanitarian law".

Amnesty International also took out a full-page advertisement in the Liberation newspaper on Monday, featuring the feet of an executed prisoner, urging Macron to talk about human rights with Prince Mohammed.

Royal couple request charity donations not wedding presents
A British Government source confirmed Ms May would not be attending and said there had been no expectation that she would. Also invited is 14-year-old Reuben Litherland who was born deaf and has started lunchtime lessons to teach sign language.

He and Macron stated their conflicting views over the Iran nuclear deal, which both Saudi Arabia and the US strongly criticize.

France's president has said he agrees with Saudi Arabia on the need to curb Iranian "expansionism" in the Middle East.

Macron insisted there was no better option than enforcing the nuclear deal, but also pushed for post-2025 proposals to ensure the security of the region.

They will now work on a "strategic document" involving a series of contracts to be signed by Macron during a visit to Saudi Arabia later this year, his office said, without further details.

The visit comes in line with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and in response to an invitation from the Spanish government.

Saudi national company Aramco and French oil giant Total announced a deal Tuesday to build a petrochemical complex in Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

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