04:38 GMT +3 hours31 July 2016
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French President Francois Hollande (R) greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef upon his arrival for their talks on March 4, 2016 at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris

Honor for Sale? The French Lash Out at Hollande for Awarding Saudi Prince

© AFP 2016/ Stephane De Sakutin
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The French have lashed out at their president for “discrediting” and “devaluating” their highest honor, the Legion d'Honneur, after it was “quietly” awarded to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif during his visit to Paris, just months after his country executed 47 people on New Year's Day.

The French president has been accused of devaluing its highest national honor after the Legion of Honour was quietly awarded to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on a visit to Paris.

French President Francois Hollande (2nd L) shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as he escorts him following their talks on March 4, 2016 at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris
© AFP 2016/ STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
French President Francois Hollande (2nd L) shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as he escorts him following their talks on March 4, 2016 at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris

The nation’s most prestigious award went to the heir to the Saudi throne, Prince Mohammed bin Naif on Friday, just several months after the kingdom executed  47 people, including Shia religious leader Nimr al-Nimr, by beheading and shooting by firing squad.

​Just two months ago the French government was among the most vocal outside the Middle East in its condemnation of Saudi mass executions.

The French media noted that the Crown Prince’s visit to the Elysee Palace took place on the same very day when President Hollande held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about on the refugee crisis.

​But while Merkel’s trip was widely covered by the Elysee social media team, any reference or evidence of the Saudi delegation was “conspicuously absent”.

While Saudi news agency SPA hailed the honor as “recognition for the prince’s great efforts in the region and world for combating extremism and terrorism”, the French have condemned the move.

​​​Twitter users called it a “day of shame for France”, lamenting that the decoration “makes the legion d’honneur worthless” and wondering whether the country’s top award is now available for sale.

"Holland gives the Legion of Honour to Saudi Crown Prince… for his action against terrorism: Putin laughs!" tweeted another user.

​​​The Legion of Honour was founded by Napoleon in 1802, and is regarded as among the first and most prestigious modern orders of merit in the world. The order's motto is "Honneur et Patrie" ("Honour and Fatherland").

Legion of Honour
© Photo: Wikipedia/M. Blach
Legion of Honour
Related:
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Watchdogs Condemn Hammond for 'Condoning' Saudi Mass Executions
Leaked Memo Proves Saudis Knew Executions Would Spark Unrest
State Department Was Warned of Saudi Executions
Tags:
decoration, executions, award, Legion of Honour, Mohammed bin Naif, Francois Hollande, Saudi Arabia, France
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  • michael
    the award is now worthless.
  • michael
    and another thing the french president has no concept of honour...the members of the Resistance and the Maquis would be turning over in their graves. hollande is genetic garbage.
  • arnelmadrinan
    shame shame shame shame shame HOLLANDE is a disgrace to French Race
  • arnelmadrinan
    seems Hollande is enjoying terrorist attack
  • Skevin
    This is not a "day of shame" for France it is "years and years of shame" for France has been collaborating from a long time with Saoud Arabia in Africa. Saoud Arabia helped to finance the defense of french interest in africa through the so-called "safari club" the declared aim of which was the usual cover to fight against communism, in fact to fight against any progress in former fench colonies, but also everywhere in Africa. The Safari club and France helped during many years to maintain apartheid in South Africa for instance, to finance Savimbi and Mobutu, and many others criminal chiefs of war .
  • Lee
    Roll over Francois.
    Now, beg.
    Good dog.
  • art
    A Khazar Jew honors a Berber Jew at the expense of European values.
  • cmat.wolfgang
    Isn't Holland supposed to be Socialist?
    As a Roman emperor said when charging money for using public toilets,
    "Money doesn't stink".
  • margaridaoulman
    Hollande the lowest ever rated french president is a traitor to the values for which the french republic stands for. He is a traitor and a disgrace for france
  • dna1991
    This shows Hollande supports slaughtering of humans and animals as part of religious festival.
  • CocoChannelin reply tomargaridaoulman(Show commentHide comment)
    margaridaoulman,
    You're so right. That's the last straw, although everything is yet possible with this failure of a human being.
    All the recipients of the Medal of Honor should return it to the Elysée, with comments.
  • CocoChannelin reply tocmat.wolfgang(Show commentHide comment)
    cmat.wolfgang,
    The socialists were always well known in History, for being the best nazis ever.
  • Fulvio Nylund
    Rewarding a wahhabi head-cutter supporter.

    Hollande = mange-marde
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
    High treason for those politicians.... soon I hope French people will see how braindead those "elites" are..
  • Anton KOMAROV
    outrageous...there is nothing more to add...democracy? what a joke!!!! the sky just felt on the head of the Gauls!!!!
  • cmat.wolfgangin reply toCocoChannel(Show commentHide comment)
    CocoChannel,
    maybe it comes with a small monthly Pension for the poor guy:-)
  • The black hole of digrace the west has fallen into. Despicable.
  • Alabama Mothman
    And they want to blame Russia for it's disgrace.
  • kookain reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael,
    most of those state awards are worthless including nobel peace prize.
  • michaelin reply tokooka(Show commentHide comment)
    kooka, agree big time. The genuine awards are little known but valued by the professionals in the field. The Fields Medal is one. :)
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