Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Saudi prince meets with Lebanese leader as Paris trip winds up

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Apple CEO Tim Cook during his recent Silicon Valley tour Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Apple CEO Tim Cook during his recent Silicon Valley tour
Andrew Cummings | 12 April, 2018, 07:22

They will now work on a "strategic document" involving a series of contracts to be signed by Macron during a visit to Saudi Arabia later this year, his office said, without further details.

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. "No comment", read the caption.

Ahead of prince Mohammed's trip to France, Saudi officials suggested relations were strong between him and Macron, both young leaders with reformist agendas.

This marked a change of direction for Macron, who had previously clashed with Saudi Arabia after expressing he was committed to the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman and French President Macron had a private dinner in a restaurant in the Louvre museum on Sunday.

The choice of the famous painting of a bare-breasted woman holding the French tricolore was seen as underscoring the crown prince's efforts to introduce greater personal freedoms in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

A French lawyer representing the Legal Center for Rights and Development filed the suit against the crown prince, now in France on an official visit, for his leading role in the Saudi-led coalition's airstrikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Suspected chemical attack: global monitor to send fact-finding team to Syria
France has previously warned it would respond with strikes on Syrian government forces, if evidence of chemical attacks was found. UN Security Council failed to adopt a Russian-drafted resolution on inquiry into chemical weapons use in Syria on Tuesday.

China to fight USA tariffs at any cost
The U.S. sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit if China responds in kind. China charges total duties of 25 percent on most imported cars - a 10 percent customs tariff plus a 15 percent auto tax.

Conte says West Ham draw sums up Chelsea's season
After the game the West Ham manager admitted that this was a crucial point and lauded the performance of his often criticised 'keeper.

The kingdom also revealed on Monday that it would enter short films at the Cannes film festival next month for the first time, a further sign of Prince Mohammed's mission to modernise his country.

His remarks came as US President Donald Trump prepared to announce whether he would carry out strikes over Saturday's suspected attack in which at least 40 people are thought to have been killed.

The prince's delegation was also attending a forum on Tuesday with French business leaders, which is expected to lead to a host of agreements pledging future economic deals.

Asked whether France might consider following Germany's recent decision to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, an Elysee source last week said French arms sales were subject to strict case-by-case approval procedures which considered concerns for civilians.

The kingdom is the lead partner in a coalition of countries bombing and blockading Yemen, where a combination of fighting, disease and food shortages has led the United Nations to dub it the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia was France's second-biggest client for both arms deliveries and new arms orders in 2016, according to official data.

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