France backs Saudi Arabia after hostage crisis

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 30 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Paris would stand by Saudi Arabia in the wake of a deadly weekend hostage-taking in the oil center of Al-Khobar carried out by suspected Al-Qaeda extremists.

PARIS, May 30 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Paris would stand by Saudi Arabia in the wake of a deadly weekend hostage-taking in the oil center of Al-Khobar carried out by suspected Al-Qaeda extremists.

In a message sent to his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal, released Sunday by the French foreign ministry, Barnier condemned the "acts of violence and terrorism" that unfolded in the city.

"In this difficult time, France will remain more than ever at Saudi Arabia's side in the mobilization necessary to fight against terrorism," Barnier said, conveying the country's condolences to the families of the victims.

The extremist kidnappers killed at least 10 people including foreigners in an armed rampage through Al-Khobar on Saturday, before taking hostages in a residential compound.

Elite Saudi security forces on Sunday rescued 25 hostages in a raid but nine others were killed during a violent overnight standoff with police, a survivor said.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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