(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) xxxx. Unity. French President thanked the King of Saudi Arabia and the Their Majesties and Highnesses, the GCC leaders and delegations for inviting him to attend the summit as a guest of honour of the 15th GCC Consultative Summit.
Hollande said, "Thank you for giving me this honour to address the consultative summit. I would like to take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud."
He added that when the GCC was set up in 1981, it was to tackle the danger posed by the Iraq-Iran war. "Today you are facing new challenges related to the terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL) and al-Qaeda, as well as other challenges in a number of neighbouring countries, including Yemen."
The French President said the King of Saudi Arabia "reminded us about risks posed by ambitions of some countries, which interfere in others' affairs." To deal with these crisis, he continued, "You launched a number of initiatives regarding Syria and a declaration to form the Arab Force."
He noted that France backs Operation Decisive Storm, which has been turned into Operation Restore Hope in order to restore stability to Yemen, adding that ensuring the security of neighbouring countries bolsters the safety and security of the region. "There are threats facing the GCC and France. Therefore, I would like to reiterate France's commitment to stand by your side and support you not only as a friend and ally, but because defending your interests also means we defend ourselves."
The French president said France agrees with Saudi Arabia to strengthen the defence ties between the two countries, adding that yesterday in Qatar, similar issues were touched upon. He underscored that France is a trustworthy ally.
He said that France did not spare any effort to bring together the moderate Syrian opposition for the sake of Syria's future and peace.
Hollande said, "We are partners and will remain partners," citing the fact of existing Iraqi alliance to combat Daesh terrorist group. Furthermore, "we call for reconciliation among all the Iraqi parties. And we also work to reach a peace deal in Libya under the sponsorship of the UN to restore stability there."
He added that France backs the legitimacy in Yemen in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution No. 2216, noting that it has to be implemented to back the legitimate President of Yemen and achieve reconciliation there. Hollande welcomed the Saudi proposal to host a conference on Yemen.
On Iran, Hollande said the ongoing talks about the Iranian nuclear issue "deserve our care and vigilance. France does so. And we want a strong, sustainable and viable agreement. Iran should undertake that it will not access nuclear weapons. The Lausanne agreement is only an interim agreement and just a step on the road, which is still long. We want to have a full and complete transparency."
About the sanctions on Iran, the French President said, "We support the lifting of sanctions gradually, and we must remain attentive to the actions of Iran. The deal, which we will reach, should not cause or lead to the destabilisation of countries in this region. The arms embargo on Iran must be kept in place. We want to judge Iran by its actions and not words."