Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

Saudi Arabia says consulting allies over Syria response

Saudi Arabia says consulting allies over Syria response

The Saudi Crown Prince and the French president also said that they had agreed on the need to curb what they called "Iran's expansion in the Middle East".

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman told reporters Tuesday that if necessary, his country will join other allies in a response to the chemical attack on the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma in Syria this past Saturday.

On Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has led an worldwide military coalition since 2015 and waged a blockade that has sparked widespread condemnation.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday a decision on whether to carry out military strikes on Syrian chemical weapons' facilities would be made in the coming days after more consultations with the United States and Britain. "We have here a young leader who is going to be in the highest functions in a country where 70 per cent of the population is under 30", Macron said alongside the 32-year-old prince. "It is obvious that we will not tolerate any ballistic activity that threatens Saudi Arabia". Human rights groups also question how far the kingdom has come.

Seventy-five per cent of French people want Macron to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a YouGov poll found.

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

They signed a cooperation agreement on research and tourism at the Mada'in Saleh archaeological site in northwest Saudi Arabia.

Prince Saud al-Faisal, who served as Saudi Arabia's foreign minister for 40 years until his death, was a regular visitor to the French capital, where he stayed in the lap of luxury.

Macron hosted a gala send-off dinner for the crown prince at the Elysee Palace.

On Monday, the prince held a surprise meeting with Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri, as well as talks with France's foreign and defence ministers.

Saudi national oil company Aramco and French oil giant Total also announced a deal worth $9bn that would see the construction of a petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

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