Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz met yesterday with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin for talks about the crises in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories as well as ongoing efforts to seek peace and security in the Middle East. Various aspects of Saudi-French cooperation were also discussed.
In remarks after their meeting Crown Prince Sultan praised France’s policies in the Middle East. He remarked that Saudi Arabia and France share identical views on the developments in the region and that both countries are eager to bring about a just and comprehensive peace there.
Crown Prince Sultan stressed that the Kingdom supports dialogue and negotiations to settle disputes that threaten regional and global security. Military action will only lead to further destruction, antagonism and extremism, he said, adding that the current violence in the region is the result of a policy of intransigence and force.
“We do condemn the operations of destruction and mass killing, and destruction of the infrastructure projects as the result of the Israeli aggressions against Palestine and Lebanon,” the Crown Prince said.
He noted that Israel’s actions are not in keeping with international norms and conventions, and called on the international community to take the appropriate measures to end the violence.
Turning to Iraq, Crown Prince Sultan emphasized the importance of intensified efforts to ensure the stability and unity of that country.
For his part, Prime Minister de Villepin highlighted the strength of Saudi-French relations and said they are characterized by credibility and realism. Both nations are working together to foster peace and security in the Middle East and beyond, he said.
The Crown Prince is currently on a three-day official visit to France, which ends today. Yesterday, he also met with French President Jacques Chirac for talks about the crisis in the Middle East.