Macron hosts Saudi crown prince as energy catastrophe threatens EU
Western leaders have increased efforts to reset ties with the kingdom in the wake of a manufactured energy crisis battering the globe
By News Desk - July 29 2022

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) to Paris on 28 July, in the latest push by the west to reset relations with the oil giant.

The leaders did not provide comments to the press before Macron hosted a “working dinner” for the crown prince.

An Elysée Palace official told reporters that the discussion would center on “oil production and the Iran nuclear deal,” and that Macron “would bring up human rights questions.”

The French president faced criticism from opposition figures and human rights groups for his decision to host MbS, the man US intelligence says approved the kidnapping, torture, and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

“For the president to have an influence and tackle the problems that European countries and France face … the only way is to talk with all of our partners,” a presidential aide said in defense of the meeting.

“I am scandalized and outraged that Emmanuel Macron is receiving with all the honors the executioner of my fiancé, Jamal Khashoggi,” Hatice Cengiz told AFP on Thursday.

The crown prince is also responsible for the seven-year long war in Yemen, which has devastated the Arab world’s poorest country and created “one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time,” according to the UN.

Despite this, France remains one of Riyadh’s main arms suppliers.

MbS arrived in the French capital after a visit to Greece, where he pledged to make the Hellenic Republic a “hub of green energy” for Europe.

As the west sinks into a catastrophic energy crisis of its own making, matters of human rights have been thrown to the wayside in the search for alternatives to Russian fuel.

The visit of MbS to France comes just two weeks after he hosted US President Joe Biden in Jeddah, where the western leader failed to secure an increase in oil production from his Arab partners.

France agreed to a long-term energy deal with the UAE earlier this month for fuel and gas supplies as it moves to reduce its dependency on Russian gas, which accounted for about 17 percent of its supplies before the war in Ukraine.

During the G7 summit late last month, Macron was caught on camera pleading with Biden for help in overcoming the man-made crisis.


This week, the European Commission proposed that all EU countries cut their use of gas from August to March by 15 percent. The target would initially be voluntary, but will become mandatory if an emergency is declared.

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