Saudi Crown Prince Salman begins Euro tour in Paris

11 April, 2018, 12:43 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Saudi Crown Prince visits Bush senior

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

Around 18 memoranda of understanding in energy, agriculture, tourism and culture are set to be signed at an official Saudi-France CEO Forum on Tuesday, a source close to the crown prince's delegation told AFP.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia's crown prince kicked off his official visit to France Monday, part of an image-building global tour as he seeks to revitalise cultural and investment ties with Paris despite lurking tensions.

"Despite some tensions, Saudi Arabia needs French expertise as it opens up giant sectors to diversify its oil-dependent economy - entertainment, tourism and cinemas", Najah al-Otaibi, a senior analyst at pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, told AFP.

"The relationship is probably the strongest it's ever been ─ we understand each other", says Trump as the young leader embarks on a almost three-week tour of the United States.

The powerful young prince who is behind modernising reforms in Saudi Arabia is on a three-day trip at a time when relations between the two countries have become more complicated, including over how to address Iran's role in the region.

"It's about forging a new partnership with France, and not just running after contracts", AFP confirmed to a source close to the Saudi delegation.

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The two countries also said the Paris National Opera would help the kingdom develop a national orchestra.

Macron was personally involved in November in the crisis around Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. "It's never easy for an authoritarian like him to accept this".

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

The Louvre was the latest prestigious historic site chosen by Macron to host and impress foreign heads of state, following Russian President Vladimir Putin's reception at the Versailles chateau and US President Donald Trump's dinner with his French counterpart at the chic restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

Demonstrators will greet the prince with protests over the Saudi-led coalition's strikes in Yemen to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

"It is a bit of a new method of cooperation with Saudi Arabia that relies less on contracts, admittedly important but intermittent, and which will translate into a common vision".

According to a recent poll by the YouGov data analytics firm, 75 percent of French people want Macron to suspend arms exports to countries involved in the war on Yemen, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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