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Lebanese PM says France working to ease tensions over Saudi oil attacks

Ludovic Marin, AFP | French President Emmanuel Macron (right) shakes hands with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri after talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris on September 20, 2019.

France is working to "reduce the escalation" following an attack on Saudi oil installations, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Friday after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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"The French role is constant and following this matter in order to reduce the  escalation that is happening," Hariri said at a joint press event with Macron.

The September 14 raids hit the world's biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output. Riyadh promptly blamed its regional rival Iran, which has denied involvement.

Hariri also touched on economic issues during his Paris visit, telling reporters he had "excellent talks" with French business leaders about investing in Lebanon.

One of the world's most indebted states, Lebanon is aiming to drive through long-postponed reforms to try to improve its stagnant economy and state finances.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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