Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PRESS

'Never again': Florida school students become new face of US gun reform

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Quel Pied! Martin Fourcade skis to gold medal victory by 'inch of his foot'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa's Ramaphosa hails 'new dawn' in state of the nation address

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

France

Saudi king cuts short French holiday amid beach closure row

© AFP/VALERY HACHE | French police on duty outside the Saudi king’s villa in Vallauris Golfe-Juan, France, on July 26, 2015.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-08-03

Saudi Arabian King Salman left the south of France for Morocco on Sunday, cutting short a planned three-week stay after a petition from some 150,000 residents over the closure of a public beach outside his villa.

A Saudi source said King Salman had arrived in Morocco, saying this was part of his holiday programme and had nothing to do with the media coverage that his visit had attracted.

Philippe Castanet, a local French government official, added that about half of the king's 1,000-person entourage had left along with him. He did not specify a reason for the departures nor if the monarch planned to return to France.

The planned three-week visit by the new king and his inner circle at the family's seafront villa in Vallauris, where U.S. actress Rita Hayworth celebrated her wedding to Prince Aly Khan of Pakistan in 1949, was expected to be a boon for the local economy.

But the closure of the public beach for privacy and security reasons stirred up a local storm. The king's installation of an elevator from the beach to the villa, approved for temporary use by local government, also provoked anger among some residents who objected to allowing him this privilege.

Castanet said that the elevator would be removed in the coming weeks.

The Saudi source said King Salman's presence in France had been coordinated with French authorities and strictly followed their procedures and arrangements for high-security visitors.

The source said the king respected the French people and hoped his schedule next year would permit a visit to nearby Cannes, where the famous film festival is held annually.

France has been nurturing new links with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries over the last three years due to its tough stance on Iran and similar positions on conflicts across the Middle East. It is beginning to see commercial rewards in
terms of contracts for companies in the energy and defence sectors.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2015-08-02

  • FRANCE

    Saudi king arrives on French Riviera amid uproar over beach closure

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Over 100,000 petition against Saudi king’s French Riviera holiday

    Read more

COMMENT(S)