Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz arrived in Paris yesterday for a three-day State visit to France. He was met at the airport by President of France Jacques Chirac, with whom he later held extensive talks. Under discussion were the latest international developments, notably the Palestinian situation and the Arab peace initiative that was approved at the 2002 Beirut Summit. They also reviewed the situation in Iraq and Lebanon as well as the ongoing efforts for combating terrorism and aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and France.
At a reception yesterday evening, Crown Prince Abdullah expressed appreciation of the heartfelt feelings spelt out by President Chirac, and confirmed the strength of the relations that bind Saudi Arabia and France, which, he said, is not only one of the world’s major states, but has always stood as a symbol of enlightenment, moderation and tolerance. He went on to remark that Saudi-French relations encompass a wide range of fields, cultural and economic, as well as cooperation in security matters; and reiterated the Kingdom’s concern to further enhance these relations.
[See also English translation of text of Le Monde interview]