Macron meets with Saudi King Salman as Syria simmers

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Riyadh for talks on Wednesday, after Macron spent much of his first Middle East trip meeting with top Arab…

Macron meets with Saudi King Salman as Syria simmers

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Riyadh for talks on Wednesday, after Macron spent much of his first Middle East trip meeting with top Arab leaders.

In their talks on Wednesday, the French president “will explain to King Salman and crown prince that we have positions of convergence,” particularly on military and political support for the Syrian opposition, according to a person familiar with Macron’s trip.

The French president delivered similar messages to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday during a two-day state visit in Jerusalem, where he also addressed the joint parliament.

The French leader’s visit to Riyadh comes a day after a rare joint Saudi-Turkish military exercise, aimed at countering Iranian influence in Syria, began at a Turkish air base near the Syrian border.

“The more the confrontation between Iran and Turkey ensues, the more naturally we will be strengthened,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Macron heads back to France on Thursday after a quick stop in Egypt where he met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The French president next heads to Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Foreign ministers of Germany and France will discuss developments in the region at a planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a briefing on Wednesday.

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