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Saudi Arabia calls on EU to ease pressure on Egypt - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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French President Francois Hollande and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal speak to the media after their meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France on 18 August 2013. EPA/YOAN VALAT

French President François Hollande and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal speak to the media after their meeting at the Elysée Palace in Paris, France on August 18, 2013. (EPA/YOAN VALAT)

Paris, Asharq Al-Awsat—In a meeting in Paris on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and French President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace discussed the latest developments in Egypt.

Following the meeting, Al-Faisal said: “We agreed with France to give the road map in Egypt an opportunity to achieve peace and lead to early elections.” He added that “freedom of expression should be granted without the use of violence.”

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Al-Faisal as saying that “international laws guarantee the right to demonstrate and express an opinion; international law ensure non-interference in citizens’ property and their lives. One is not to use violence to express their view.”

Al-Faisal said he and Hollande had agreed that work should be done to hold early elections in Egypt on the basis of the road map. He also called on Europe to reconsider its threats to revise relations with Egypt because “nothing can be achieved through threats.”

Hollande said that he hoped elections would be held soon, adding, “It is not acceptable to see so much violence in a great country like Egypt,” adding that France was “very concerned about the violence and the large number of casualties.”

“If the freedom to demonstrate is to be respected, then law should also be respected,” the French president continued.

Hollande called on countries with close relations with Egypt to “do all they can to stop the acts of violence and hold political dialogue.”

In a related development, Qatari foreign minister Khalid Bin-Mohammed Al-Attiyah denied accusations that Qatar was helping the Muslim Brotherhood, affirming instead his country’s support for Egypt.

Following a meeting with his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, Attiyah said that “there are misconceptions about the aid provided by Qatar.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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