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MENAFN - Arab News - 30/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) French President Francois Hollande arrived here Sunday for talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman and other top Saudi officials.
In a press statement, Hollande said he would discuss issues such as Iran's controversial nuclear plan and the bloodbath in Syria with King Abdullah.
"Saudi Arabia and France will work together to establish peace, stability and security in the Middle East," the president said.
Hollande said his talks in Riyadh would also focus on expanding bilateral ties, especially in defense, as ways of reinforcing peace and stability in Lebanon.
He supported the Kingdom's stand on Syria by saying "no political solution can be achieved with Bashar Assad remaining in power."
Hollande said his country was continuing its efforts to find viable political solution for the Syria crisis in cooperation with moderate opposition groups.
A member of Hollande's entourage said the president will meet former Lebanese premier Saad Hariri and Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba in the Kingdom.
The meeting with Hariri, a fierce critic of the Syrian regime, comes amid heightening tensions in Lebanon after the assassination of his close aide, ex-minister Mohammad Chatah, in a car bomb on Friday in Beirut.
Hariri, the son of former premier Rafiq who was assassinated in a massive car bomb in February 2005, lives outside Lebanon due to security fears.
Hollande has called for the respect of "constitutional deadlines" in Lebanon, starting with "holding presidential elections in May 2014."

 


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