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Macron announces surprise Saudi visit

AFP  |  Dubai 

French President Emmanuel Macron announced he will visit tonight for talks with the kingdom's powerful crown prince on the rising tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

Macron, on his debut visit to the Middle East, made the surprise announcement at a conference in that he would meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Their talks will cover and Yemen, where and its allies have imposed a complete blockade in the wake of a missile attack last Saturday by Tehran-backed Huthi rebels.

"I've heard some very hard positions" taken by Saudi Arabia against Iran, said Macron, adding it was important to speak to all sides and that France had a role in making peace.

The visit comes at a time of increased friction between the Sunni kingdom and Shiite Iran, which are embroiled on opposite sides in Lebanon and Yemen.

The talks would also include developments in Lebanon, whose prime minister Saad Hariri resigned in a shock announcement broadcast from Riyadh on Saturday.

Macron's visit comes days after Prince Mohammed launched what the Saudi government has dubbed a wide-ranging corruption crackdown, arresting dozens of members of the royal family as well as current and former officials.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 09 2017. 22:22 IST
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