Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

France hosts visiting Saudi Prince

France hosts visiting Saudi Prince France hosts visiting Saudi Prince
Isabel Fisher | 11 April, 2018, 14:00

Trump has threatened to abandon the 2015 nuclear cooperation deal with Iran unless improvements are proposed by May 12.

Following the talks, the French prime minister gave a luncheon party in honor of the Crown Prince and the accompanying delegation.

Paris: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in France on Sunday on the fourth leg of his global tour for a stop that will focus on building relations over culture and tourism.

A Saudi-France economic forum is due to take place on Tuesday with an official signing ceremony in the afternoon.

A tourism project between Paris and Riyadh is likely to be announced, but he is not expected to clinch any mega-deals.

Macron faces seething criticism over French weapon exports to Saudi Arabia, including Caesar artillery guns, sniper rifles and armoured vehicles, in spite of the kingdom's role in the Yemen crisis.

Also named was Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, whom the New York Times has identified as the proxy buyer on behalf of the crown prince of Salvator Mundi, a $450m Leonardo da Vinci painting.

Speaking to the press, French presidency said that the two countries are considering to investing, particularly in digital and renewable energy sectors, in order to build national economies.


It is believed that projects include the joint development of apps and educational material between the company and Kingdom.

Prince Mohammed's scheduled visit to the Paris-based start-up campus Station F on Monday with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was abruptly cancelled, but the two leaders were scheduled to meet for lunch.

The Yemen conflict, into which the Saudi-led coalition intervened three years ago to fight Iran-backed Huthi rebels, has left almost 10,000 people dead and the country on the brink of starvation.

For France, President Emmanuel Macron treads a delicate line as he hosts the king-in-waiting in a visit expected to focus on cultural ties and investments, as well as the long-running war in Yemen, dubbed the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is seen during his visit to Lockheed Martin company in United States on April 6, 2018.

The prince ended his USA travels with more than $2.3 billion in promised arms sales and $1.3 billion in artillery.

France, the world's third-biggest arms exporter, counts Saudi Arabia among its biggest purchasers, and defense firms including Dassault and Thales have major contracts there.

"We are absolutely not disappointed" in the absence of weapons deals, the official from Macron's office insisted.

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