What human rights? Think arms sales, rockets, guns

France adorns Saudi Crown Prince Nayef with high civilian honour
news Monday, March 14, 2016 - 12:31

French is not only the language of diplomacy. It has also emerged as the world leader in spinning poop – almost. It all started when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef requested that he be honoured with one of France’s top civilian honours the Legion d’Honnuer.  He wanted to raise his international stature, it seems, so what better vehicle than a rocket launcher, right?

French media is reporting that the Prince asked to be honoured, but France wanted the whole thing to be discreet. Pray why, we wonder. Oh that. The beheadings, the blatant disrespect for human rights and all those ugly stories about raping domestics in their fancy homes. What has all this got to do with a little honour here and there – remember Saudi Arabia heads an important human rights panel at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 150 people.  In the first three months of 2016, 70 people have been put to death – these include human rights campaigners.

 Causette, a French magazine has published a series of email exchanges between French officials agreeing to the request and the spin on the sin.  On the one hand is their allegiance to the much-touted slogan from the French revolution: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. On the other, lies their duty to build economic cooperation and promote French products. Stuck between guns and cannons and sale of principles, the French hatched a plot, it appears. Readhere.

The French ambassador in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, told his counterparts in Paris that if the news leaked, it should be couched as an award to the Saudi prince for the kingdom’s fight against the Daesh (ISIS) and strengthening of economic cooperation between the two countries. French President Francois Hollande presented the award to the Crown Prince at a private ceremony during his recent visit to Riyadh.The French did not announce the award, but the Saudis, seeing nothing in the media for a week after the ceremony, went to town with the news.  Social media is taking France to the cleaners. The spin-doctors may have been beaten at their own game. Ça alors!

 

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