French President Macron to hold talks with Saudi crown prince in Paris

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A French lawyer has filed a lawsuit in a Paris court against visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, accusing him of complicity in torture in Yemen, an embarrassment for the French government as it rolled out the red carpet for its powerful guest.

Macron called for a "strong reaction" of the worldwide community during a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday evening.

"We have here a young leader who is going to be in the highest functions in a country where 70 percent of the population is under 30", Macron said alongside the 32-year-old prince.

Saudi Aramco received the largest share of the value of the deals in an agreement with France's Total for a petrochemical complex in Jubail Industrial City in eastern Saudi Arabia, with an investment of $9 billion.

Macron hosted a gala send-off dinner for the crown prince at the presidential Elysee palace.

"This period of ambiguity and confusion is now behind us thanks to the efforts from all sides and the personal implication of President Macron", Moueen Merhebi, an MP in Hariri's party, told AFP in Beirut on Tuesday.

Macron invited Hariri to Paris for talks and he later rescinded his resignation, a development that analysts say exposed the limits of the prince's authority.

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A picture on Macron's Twitter feed showed the two men contemplating Delacroix' most famous painting, Liberty Leading The People, a bare-breasted woman standing over revolutionary barricades holding a French tricolore flag.

But the gallery tour and dinner at the Louvre also underscored one of main themes of the visit so far, namely deepening cultural ties that will see Saudi officials call on French expertise to set up a national opera and orchestra.

The kingdom also revealed that it would enter short films at the Cannes film festival next month for the first time.

The global chemical weapons watchdog said Tuesday it will "shortly" deploy a fact-finding team to the rebel-held Syrian town of Douma to probe an alleged poison gas attack."The OPCW technical secretariat has requested the Syrian Arab Republic to make the necessary arrangements for such a deployment", the OPCW said in a statement.

When asked whether Saudi Arabia could be part of such a response, Jubeir declined to comment.

Amid the flurry of announcements in France, campaigners mobilised to keep attention focused on French weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and rights abuses in the country.

Macron said France will host a conference to boost humanitarian support for war-ravaged Yemen later this year.

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