Saudi Arabia – Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (18.12.17)

Q - Are you aware of the fact that Mohammed bin Salman bought Chateau XIV for $300 million, as reported in the New York Times? Do you have any comment on the Prince’s anti-corruption campaign, given his purchases in France (yachts, real estate)?

Tillerson recently took a harsher tone with Saudi Arabia on Yemen, Lebanon, etc. Do you agree with his thinking? Do you say the same things in private? Why not openly?

A - Many foreign figures have property in France. These are acquisitions that don’t involve the opinion of the government. Saudi Arabia is one of France’s important partners, and we pay close attention to events related to that country.

With respect to Yemen, France’s position is well known: Only a political solution can put an end to the conflict and improve the humanitarian situation in the long term. That’s why we support the mediation efforts by UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to resume negotiations. The complete, unconditional, unhindered access to humanitarian aid is an obligation that extends to all the parties to the conflict. It was the subject of in-depth discussions with Saudi authorities during Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to Riyadh on November 15 and 16. The minister spoke on that occasion.

As for Lebanon, on December 8, the International Support Group reaffirmed its commitment to the stability, security, and sovereignty of that country as well as the need to protect it from the crises destabilizing the Middle East.

Our method is to speak to everyone. Our goal is to bring down tensions in the region in order to foster crisis resolution.