Saudi Arab

Hollande performs sword dance under Saudi flag

cristanThe French President Francois Hollande has performed sword dance in his controversial visit to the Saudi capital, Riyadh

French President Froncois Hollande said there was no political solution to the current crisis in Syria with the presence of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

In an interview published by pan-Arab daily, al-Hayat, on Sunday Hollande said thatpresident Assad “is not fighting Islamists, he is placing blame on armed Islamist extremists to pressure the moderate opposition.”

He hoped that Geneva 2 will allow for the foundation of “a real process of transition, to avoid dangers of an expanding chaos in Syria and the region.”

Talking about the latest developments in Lebanon, the French president condemned the blast which killed former minister Mohammad Shatah, whom he called “a man of dialogue and peace.”

He said that Paris “is committed to Lebanon’s sovereignty, and is working relentlessly to help the country overcome security and political difficulties it faces in the context of the Syrian crisis.”

Saudi Arabia is among France’s “top partners,” Hollande said, adding that the two countries “share the same goal of supporting growth and development as members of the G20.
He also claimed that “Both countries also share the will to work for peace, security, and stability in the Middle East,” he added.

Hollande noted that he plans to negotiate regional topics with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, such as “Iran’s nuclear [program], a means of reaching a political solution for the Syrian crisis, and the need to safeguard the Lebanon’s stability.”

The French president also plans to discuss partnerships in the defense and economic sectors, saying “Saudi Arabia is France’s top client in the Middle East.”


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