PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the Elysée Palace in Paris on the second leg of his European tour.
Macron greeted the crown prince with a heat handshake as the 2 males posed for photographers on the purple carpet earlier than heading inside to carry talks over a personal dinner.
Earlier, a delegation of senior Saudi ministers – led by International Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Vitality Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Minister of State Musaid Al-Aiban – arrived on the Elysée for separate talks with their French counterparts.
The crown prince’s go to to France follows a visit to Greece earlier this week and comes two weeks after he held talks in Saudi Arabia with US President Joe Biden.
The West is eager to revive relations with the Kingdom because it seeks to counter the rising regional affect of Iran, Russia and China.
France and different European nations are additionally trying to diversify their vitality sources following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted Moscow to chop gasoline provides to Europe.
This go to “is a part of a world context that everyone knows, which is that of Russian aggression towards Ukraine and its repercussions on meals and vitality safety,” a French presidential adviser stated.
“It additionally falls inside a regional context characterised by crises and threats that persist in most of the area’s nations.
“Subsequently, the president will talk about the difficulty of vitality provide to European nations with the crown prince, reiterating our wants on this space. President Macron and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will even deal with the difficulty of the combat towards terrorism, which continues to pose a big risk within the Center East, with its doable penalties in Europe.
“Moreover, the president and the crown prince will talk about regional crises and the necessity for safety. In fact, regional crises embody the difficulty of Iran’s nuclear program. Nonetheless, additionally they cowl the state of affairs in Yemen, Iraq and, after all, Lebanon.”
Former French overseas minister Herve de Charette stated the crown prince’s go to had geopolitical significance amid a flurry of diplomatic exercise within the Center East.
“That is the primary official reception of the crown prince by one of many heads of state of the members of the Safety Council,” he stated.
“It’s subsequently a big occasion for the 2 companions who already know one another and have managed to determine helpful hyperlinks. “Within the difficult recreation now being performed within the Center East, it’s a manner for them to claim their need to be absolutely concerned, one on behalf of the main nation of the Arab states of the Gulf and the Center East, the opposite representing essentially the most outstanding nation from the EU.”