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Mon 7 Mar 2016 12:43 PM

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Saudi crown prince awarded France’s top legion of honour

Saudi Press Agency said prince was distinguished "for his great efforts in the region and the world in countering extremism and fighting terrorism".

Saudi crown prince awarded France’s top legion of honour

The Saudi Press Agency has announced that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz has received the Legion of Honour Award, France's highest decoration. While the award was not on the official agenda, President Francois Hollande reportedly awarded it to the Crown Prince for fighting terrorism.

The Elysee Palace has no immediate comment, however the Saudi Press Agency has said the prince was distinguished "for his great efforts in the region and the world in countering extremism and fighting terrorism".

Saudi Arabia is not only a French ally in the Syria conflict, but also a major client of French weaponry and armaments.

The Legion of Honour award is the highest decoration in France, and was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is divided in to five degrees of increasing distinction: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer and Grand Cross. While membership is technically restricted to French nationals, foreigners who have served France may receive the honour. Foreign heads of state, along with their wives, can be made Grand Cross as a courtesy.

The most recent foreign nationals to receive the award were the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack, after a gunman boarded a high-speed train headed to France.

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