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Saudi, France discuss strategic ties
November 11, 2017
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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, also the country’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence, yesterday met with President Emmanuel Macron of France to discuss the strategic partnership between the two countries.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, the meeting reviewed Saudi-French relations and opportunities to further develop bilateral cooperation within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

They also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East and the efforts being exerted for the security and stability of the region, including joint coordination in the fight against terrorism.

The French president condemned the targeting of Riyadh by a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi militias and expressed his country’s solidarity with the Kingdom.

The French President arrived late Thursday in Riyadh on a visit to the Kingdom.

The ballistic missile launched on Saturday night flew near Riyadh’s international airport before Saudi officials said they shot it down. By early on Monday, the kingdom responded by closing off Yemen’s land, sea and air ports and warning Iran the rebel missile launch could be “considered as an act of war.”

“I believe it’s important that we work with Saudi Arabia for the purpose of guaranteeing stability in the region and the fight against terrorism,” Macron also said.

The surprise trip to Saudi Arabia came at the end of a two-day trip by Macron to the United Arab Emirates.

After focusing Wednesday on cultural ties between France and the UAE with the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Macron on Thursday toured a nearby French naval base and discussed the military cooperation between the two nations.

Macron visited the Camp Peace naval base at Abu Dhabi’s Port Zayed, which sits just across the waters of the Arabian Gulf from the new Louvre.

Regional talks

Macron said he was committed to strengthening the political and economic relations between his country and the UAE, as well as expanding their strategic partnership to include new sectors and fields.

The French President spoke at the UAE-France Business Forum, which was organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Zayed University in Dubai, in co-operation with the French Embassy in the UAE; Business France, the national agency in charge of globalising the French economy; and the French Business Council in Dubai.

He pointed out that the project undertaken by the UAE was in sync with the historic project of France, which was to defend reason and light, as well as the differences with others. He emphasised that the launch of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and other businesses through the UAE-France Business Forum reflected a bright image of the UAE.

WAM

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