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Fabius: France, Saudi discussing quick multi-billion-euro deals
France and Saudi Arabia are in negotiations to sign deals, including in the military sector, worth tens of billions of euros as Riyadh continues a deadly aggression against its impoverished neighbor, Yemen.

 

"If concluded, these 20 projects would be worth tens of billions of euros," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, adding that the initial agreements should be implemented "quickly." Press TV reported.

"A certain number (of armament) projects need to be finalized and we should see the consequences of that in the coming months," he said.

Fabius did not provide any more details on the prospective deals.

The comment came as French President Francois Hollande arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend a Persian Gulf leaders' summit on Tuesday.

This would be the first time a Western leader personally attends a summit of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC), a regional alliance of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Besides attending the [P]GCC summit, which Hollande has described as an honor, the French leader held meetings with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as well as the fugitive former president of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia in March.

The [P]GCC’s Tuesday summit is expected to discuss options to counter the ongoing advance of the Houthi Ansarullah fighters in Yemen.

During Hollande’s Monday visit to Doha, France also signed a deal with Qatar to sell the monarchy 24 Rafale fighter jets worth 6.3 billion euros (USD7 billion) to the Persian Gulf state.

Riyadh launched its military aggression against the Saudi neighbor on March 26 - without a United Nations mandate - in a bid to undermine Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudis.

The attacks have so far killed over a thousand Yemenis, including many women and children, and injured thousands of others.

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