Barnier in Saudi Arabia for talks

15th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

RIYADH, Feb 15 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for talks with Saudi leaders likely to focus on the situation in Lebanon after the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

RIYADH, Feb 15 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for talks with Saudi leaders likely to focus on the situation in Lebanon after the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

Barnier was expected to hold talks with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Iraq also up for discussion.

Hariri, who also carried Saudi nationality and maintained close relations with the royal family in Saudi Arabia, was killed in a massive bomb blast in Beirut on Monday.

The slain billionaire, who made his fortune in Saudi Arabia a few decades ago, also kept close ties with French President Jacques Chirac.

Barnier's spokesman Herve Ladsous said France's relations with Saudi Arabia would also be on the agenda.

"Saudi Arabia is a major partner for us in the Gulf, and we have excellent relations," Ladsous said, adding that Paris had supported Saudi Arabia's efforts to host a counter-terrorism conference in Riydah that ended last week.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article