Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has condemned offensive French caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) that have outraged the Muslims.

“Freedom of expression should be an ethical value that spreads respect and coexistence among people, and not a tool to spread hate as well as cultural and civilization showdown,” the Saudi monarch was quoted as saying in a phone call he received from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

King Salman also emphasised his country’s condemnation of recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria.

Both leaders agreed on the necessity of confronting all forms of extremism and terrorism, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia is currently holding the presidency of the Group of 20.

Calls have mounted in the Muslim world for boycotting French goods after French President Emmanuel Macron was quoted as saying that his country would not give up the caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and defended the right to publish them.

Macron’s controversial remarks came after a French history teacher was beheaded outside a school in a Paris suburb for showing the cartoons earlier last month.

On October 29, three people were killed in a knife attack inside a church in Nice in southern France. The main suspect in the attack is as a Tunisian citizen.

Macron has later sought to defuse tensions with Muslims, saying that his government did not stand behind the republication of the offensive caricatures.