Just two months ago France was among the most vocal in condemning Saudi Arabia’s New Year’s mass executions.
France has been accused of devaluing its highest national honour after the Legion of Honour was quietly awarded to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on a visit to Paris.
The French government was among the most vocal outside the Middle East in its condemnation of Saudi mass executions earlier this year, calling the kingdom’s killing of 47 people “deeply deplorable”. Yet almost two months to the day after that statement was issued, President François Hollande awarded his nation’s most prestigious award to the heir to the Saudi throne, Prince Mohammed bin Naif.
The Crown Prince’s visit to the Elysee Palace actually took place on Friday 4 March, the same day as Mr Hollande held talks with Angela Merkel about how to cope with the refugee crisis. That the Prince even received the award was only confirmed by Mr Hollande’s entourage on Sunday afternoon. Officials sought to play it down, telling Le Monde it was “common protocol” to issue visiting dignitaries with the honour.
-more at Independent