Sarkozy, Saudi king press need for Mideast peace talks
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 23:50
Doha: France's President Nicolas Sarkozy wrapped up on Wednesday a Gulf visit during which he agreed with Saudi King Abdullah on the need to restart Middle East peace talks and took a firm stance on Iran.

In three hours of "deep" talks at Abdullah's Janadiriyah desert farm, north of Riyadh, late today, the leaders "were agreed on the need for rapid steps to relaunch the peace process," an official of the French presidency said.

King Abdullah is "on the same wavelength" as France on the need to relaunch the peace process, the official said.

On today, Sarkozy made a brief stopover in Doha where his wife Carla Bruni arrived a day earlier to take part in a conference on education, following an invitation by the emir's wife, Sheikha Moza al-Misnid.

Sarkozy held talks with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, before the presidential couple headed back to Paris.

The president arrived in the Saudi capital yesterday for an overnight stay to discuss mainly regional political issues and build a closer working relationship.

The two leaders discussed the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Iran's nuclear ambitions, Lebanese politics and other key issues over a three-hour meeting.

The presidency official would not comment on reports that France is offering to host a new Middle East peace conference.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 23:50

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