Mali crisis in spotlight at Saudi-French defense talks

Updated 30 January 2013
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Mali crisis in spotlight at Saudi-French defense talks

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, held talks here yesterday with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on major regional and international developments.
A French diplomat in Riyadh said the talks focused on Mali intervention.
Prince Salman and Le Drian “discussed topics of common interest, and the latest developments at the regional and international levels,” the SPA said, adding that the French minister handed the crown prince a message from President Francois Hollande to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
In France, news media reported that the French intervention in Mali would top Le Drian’s agenda in his Riyadh talks. Radio France International (RFI) quoted its correspondent in Riyadh Clarence Rodriguez as saying: “The war in Mali gives a whole new dimension to the coming of the French minister of defense.”
Rodriguez said France explains in the letter to King Abdullah “the underlying reasons for its military intervention in Mali and the real motives of France.” RFI correspondent said the French minister would explain the temporary nature of the involvement in Mali.
“Saudi Arabia, a pole of stability in the region, is committed to the fight against Al-Qaeda,” Rodriguez said, adding that the French official would also discuss with the Saudi officials the crisis in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The French diplomat told AFP that Le Drian’s visit was planned before the French intervention in Mali.
The French minister also met with Prince Khaled bin Sultan, deputy defense minister, as well as the National Guard chief, Prince Miteb.


Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 44 min 32 sec ago
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Saudi Cabinet welcomes Ethiopian, Eritrean peace agreement

  • The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement
  • The king wished the two countries further security, prosperity and stability

JEDDAH: King Salman chaired the Cabinet’s session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday.

The king briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali to sign the Jeddah Peace Agreement.

King Salman expressed his congratulations to the two countries and said that he hoped the signing of the agreement would be a strong basis for closer cooperation and friendship, achieving security and stability, and would positively affect the security and stability of the region.

The king also congratulated Djibouti and Eritrea on their historic meeting in Jeddah — which came in response to his invitation — wishing the two countries further security, prosperity and stability.

The Cabinet praised the efforts of the two countries’ leaders to restore relations between them to establish a new stage that would witness a great development in relations and further cooperation.

The Cabinet congratulated the king and crown prince on the success of these efforts, which resulted in the signing of the Jeddah Peace Agreement and also the historic meeting between Djibouti and Eritrea after ten years of severed relations. 

The Cabinet praised the resolutions of the 150th ordinary session of the Arab League’s Council at the level of foreign ministers held in Cairo, and the statement issued by the Arab Quartet Ministerial Committee held on the sidelines of the 150th session of the Arab League’s Council, on the follow-up of the crisis with Iran and ways to address its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The Cabinet highlighted the terrorism practiced by Iran through its interference in Arab affairs, which needs cooperation to confront and deter, reiterating that the Kingdom has made efforts to combat terrorism and has not hesitated to provide support with the cooperation of the international community to address this.

The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the suicide bombings north of Tikrit in Iraq, the Somali capital of Mogadishu and Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, expressing condolences to the families of the victims, the governments and peoples of Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.