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French pres. voices support for Saudi war on Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French President Francois Hollande (L) stands beside Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh on May 5, 2015. © AFP

French President Francois Hollande has expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal military aggression against Yemen a day after Paris sold 6.3-billion-euro (USD-seven-billion) worth of fighter jets to Qatar.

Addressing a meeting of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) on Tuesday, the French leader said the Riyadh regime could count on the European country’s support in its military campaign against Yemen.

Hollande made the comments in response to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s claims at the summit that the Riyadh regime was seeking to bring “stability” to the region.

French President Francois Hollande (C) leaves a summit of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 5, 2015. © AFP

Earlier in the day, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had said his country and the kingdom were currently working on “20 projects, which may represent several billion euros.”

“These are extremely important prospects that show that the partnership is moving at a new speed with some concrete results,” the French minister added.

The [P]GCC’s Tuesday summit focused on options to counter the ongoing advance of the popular committees, backed by Houthi Ansarullah fighters, in Yemen.

During Hollande’s Monday visit to Doha, France signed a deal with Qatar to sell the monarchy 24 Rafale fighter jets worth 6.3 billion euros (USD7 billion) to the Persian Gulf state.

Riyadh launched its military aggression against its southern neighbor on March 26 - without a United Nations mandate - in a bid to undermine Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudis.

Smoke and flames rise from an area on Faj Attan Hill and Aser mountain following a Saudi airstrike on April 6, 2015 in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. © AFP

On April 21, Riyadh announced the end of the first phase of its military operation, but airstrikes have continued with Saudi bombers targeting different areas across the country in a new phase.

The Saudis claim the airstrikes only target military positions. However, reports show civilians and infrastructure in civilian areas are being attacked. Recent reports also show Saudis have used cluster munitions in the northern province of Sa’ada.

The attacks have so far killed over 1,200 Yemenis, including many women and children, and injured thousands of others.


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