French President Macron to host Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris

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French President Emmanuel Macron is due to host Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a dinner on Thursday, as Western countries seek to convince the Kingdom to up its oil production amid the war in Ukraine.

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The Crown Prince’s visit to Paris comes two weeks after he held talks in Saudi Arabia with US President Joe Biden.

Discussion is expected to center around energy supply, and the Iranian nuclear program.

France and other European countries are looking to diversify their sources of energy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe.

Macron views the Kingdom as vital to help forge a region-wide peace deal with Iran and also as an ally in the fight against extremist militants from the Middle East to West Africa.

France is also one of Riyadh’s main arms suppliers.

Macron has dismissed criticism of his efforts to engage the Crown Prince by saying the Kingdom is too important to be ignored.

With Reuters

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