Saudi Arabia's King Khalid met French President Giscard d'Estaing in Tuesday (30 May). They were?
Saudi Arabia's King Khalid met French President Giscard d'Estaing in Tuesday (30 May). They were expected to discuss their two countries's concern over recent threats to security in Africa and the growth of Soviet influence on the continent.
SYNOPSIS: For the talks at the Palace of Versailles near Paris Heads of State were joined by key ministers. Topics included the Middle East situation and prospects for increased economic and military co-operation between France and Saudi Arabia. The French had hoped the Saudis might still be interested in buying new warplanes, but the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal later said his country does not intend to acquire fighter aircraft from France. The Americans have recently agreed to supply the Saudis with sixty F-15 fighters.
The visit was extensively covered by the French press which noted the two countries' concern over conflict in several African regions, including the Horn of Africa, Chad, and most recently, Zaire. 'Le Monde' said the French and Saudi approach to international problems was becoming increasingly similar. An editorial warned that Paris, like Rihadh, is worried about Soviet penetration in Africa. The paper said that, like King khalid, the French President intends to stand on for the defaulting Americans in certain areas, to face up to the Communist danger.
Saudi Arabia already has co-operation agreements with France covering television, solar energy, electricity generation and nuclear power. A spokesman said France was hoping to interest the Saudis in other projects -- construction, housing, hotels, road-building and an oil-processing plant.