France and Saudi Arabia have agreed to give more weapons to the foreign - backed Takfiri militants operating in Syria.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday, “Our approach to the situation is identical.” He made the comment after holding talks with Saudi officials in the city of Jeddah. The French defense minister said Paris and Riyadh will support the so-called Syrian National Coalition and the terrorist Free Syrian Army “on the military level, as well as the humanitarian and political levels.” Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants inside Syria. Refereeing to a Russia-US proposal for holding talks in Geneva to end the Syrian crisis, Le Drian said Paris “hopes that the Geneva conference would succeed because there will be no military solution in Syria.” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow and Washington had agreed to push for holding the planned Geneva conference in mid-November. “Today, we agreed on the steps needed for both the government and the opposition to come to the conference,” the Russian foreign minister stated. Le Drian is on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia to negotiate lucrative military contracts with the oil-rich kingdom. The French minister also pointed to a $1.77-billion military contract between the two countries. According to Saudi sources, the contract “entered into effect on October 7” and sees the overhaul of two Saudi refueling ships and four frigates that have been in service since the 1980s. Talks will also reportedly be held for a $2.72-billion contract for modernizing Saudi air forces.