True the French President Emmanuel Macron had been given an icy reception when he visited Riyadh, but he has now at last secured the liberation of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. The latter had been detained with his family in Saudi Arabia.

After the United States and Russia had got Saudi Arabia to reconsider the rational basis for its decision, France officially invited Mr Hariri and his family to Paris. It would appear that Saudi Arabia has accepted this arrangement.

To save King Salman’s face, France, making yet another about turn, immediately repeated anti-Iranian positions.

Anoosha Boralessa