France's Hollande discusses Syria, Iran in Saudi

PHOTO | BERTRAND LANGLOIS French President Francois Hollande speaks during a press conference at the airport in Jeddah, on November 4, 2012. Hollande is visiting Saudi Arabia before attending an Asia-Europe summit in Laos to talk trade at a time of economic crisis.

What you need to know:

  • Hollande's stop in Jeddah, where he met the king for the first time since he took office in May, comes after a brief visit to Beirut during which he pledged to protect Lebanon against threats of destabilisation caused by the deadly conflict in neighbouring Syria
  • Paris and Riyadh have "very similar views" on the nearly 20-month conflict in Syria, French sources said, adding that the two leaders would also discuss energy issues including nuclear power
  • A French minister who requested anonymity said Hollande's visit is aimed at improving relations with the kingdom which chilled during the rule of France's former head of state, Nicolas Sarkozy

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia

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