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France tightens bonds with Saudis despite rights record

French President Francois Hollande looks on after a meeting at the Elysee palace on June 23, 2015, in ParisTop French and Saudi leaders will huddle Wednesday in Paris to discuss projects worth billions of euros, as France tightens relations with the conservative kingdom despite persistent criticism of its human rights record. French President Francois Hollande will host Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Mohamed bin Salman after the inaugural meeting of a Franco-Saudi committee that is to discuss proposed projects in the aeronautics, nuclear power, health and investment sectors. France and Saudi Arabia have been reinforcing their links as Riyadh seeks to broaden ties with top Western powers beyond traditional allies the United States.

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