French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he would draw up a list of extremist organisations to convey to Saudi Arabia after its crown prince pledged to cut their funding.
Saudi Arabia finances groups overseen by the Mecca-based Muslim World League, which for decades was charged with spreading the strict Wahhabi school of Islam around the world.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to modernise the kingdom and cleave to a more open and tolerant interpretation of Islam.
“He never did it publicly, but when I went to Riyadh (this month), he made a commitment, such that we could give him a list and he would cut the financing,” Macron said during an interview with France 24 television.
Macron, speaking from Abidjan, said he had also sought commitments to cut financing of extremist groups from Qatar, Iran and Turkey.
The French leader will make a quick trip to Doha on Dec. 7, where he will discuss regional ties and could sign military and transport deals, including the sale of 12 more Rafale fighter jets.
Qatar has improved its ties with Iran since Saudi Arabia and other Arab states boycotted it over alleged ties to Islamist groups and its relations with Tehran.
Macron said he still intended to travel to Iran next year, but wanted to ensure there was a discussion and strategic accord over its ballistic missile programme and its destabilisation activities in several regional countries..