France and Saudi Arabia have committed to “fully engage” to resolve a diplomatic row between the Gulf kingdom and Lebanon, visiting French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday. His tour of the region also included the signing of several lucrative arms and other business deals.
Macron’s announcement came after meeting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom he said he had a “no taboos” discussion about human rights.
Macron said that he and Prince Mohammed held a joint telephone conversation with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati in an effort to resolve the crisis that was sparked in October between Beirut and several Gulf states — in particular Saudi Arabia, which had blocked imports.
Saudi Arabia and France “want to fully engage” on re-establishing relations between Riyadh and Beirut, the French president told reporters before his departure.
“With Saudi Arabia, we have made commitments towards Lebanon: to work together, to support reforms, to enable the country to emerge from the crisis and preserve its sovereignty,” Macron said on Twitter.