0259 GMT August 18, 2018
Saudi Arabia invited French President Francois Hollande, whose country is deemed to have the toughest stance among the six world powers negotiating with Iran, to Riyadh to discuss regional issues with Persian Gulf Arab leaders who fear a rapprochement with Tehran could further inflame the region, Reuters reported.
'France and Saudi Arabia confirmed the necessity to reach a robust, lasting, verifiable, undisputed and binding deal with Iran,' Hollande and the new Saudi King Salman said in a statement after meeting on Monday.
'This agreement must not destabilize the security and stability of the region nor threaten the security and stability of Iran's neighbors,' the statement said.
Hollande met Salman for an hour after dinner at his personal palace on Monday, and the Saudi cabinet on Tuesday. The two men tackled Iran's role in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria and reiterated that there was no future for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria after four years of civil war there.
Hollande was to address the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council leaders to reassure them that France would not accept a bad deal with Iran as the powers try to meet a June 30 deadline.
In the negotiations with six world powers, the Islamic Republic wants financial sanctions on it removed in exchange for restraints on its disputed nuclear activity.