French President Emmanuel Macron
DUBAI - 9 November 2017: French President Emmanuel Macron will make a previously unscheduled trip to Saudi Arabia on Thursday to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and discuss crises in Lebanon, Yemen and the wider region.
"It was decided to go on this visit to Riyadh to see the Crown Prince, first, it is in order to have a first meeting with him, but also to discuss regional questions, in particular Yemen and Lebanon," Macron told a news conference in Dubai during a bilateral visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Macron said it was vital to work with Saudi Arabia for the stability of the region and to fight terrorism given the close relations between the Kingdom and France.
He also said that he would not make any public comment on the wave of arrests in Saudi saying it was not his style to interfere in the domestic policies of other countries.
"I will also emphasise the importance of Lebanese stability and integrity," he said in the aftermath of the resignation this week of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
He said he had held informal contacts with Hariri, but there had been no request to transfer him to France.
On Iran, Macron repeated that he wanted to keep the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, but said he was "very concerned" by its ballistic missile programme and raised the prospect of possible sanctions on Tehran with regard those activities.