Balladur strikes dollars 2bn arms deal

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, ended a 24-hour visit to Saudi Arabia yesterday with a provisional arms deal worth about dollars 2bn ( pounds 1.4bn) for Paris, French officials said, Reuter reports from Riyadh. But the trip, at the invitation of King Fahd, fell short of France's hopes as a bilateral co-operation accord and potential industrial and military deals were left hanging, they said.