Working dinner between Macron and Mohammed bin Salman in the Elysee

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France follows Macron’s visit to Jeddah last December.

The French presidency announced on Wednesday that Emmanuel Macron will receive Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday evening for a “working dinner” at the Elysee Palace.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit came after Macron’s visit to Jeddah last December and the two men launched an initiative to help Lebanon.

It also marks the return of the crown prince, who received President Joe Biden in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, to the international arena after Western countries took his distance following the killing of Saudi critical journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at his country’s consulate in Istanbul.

Mohammed bin Salman visited Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday to sign agreements on shipping, energy, defense technology, waste management and culture.

Ukraine’s war and rising energy prices have brought Western countries closer to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, which is trying to convince them to increase production to calm markets.

However, Riyadh is resisting pressure from its allies, citing its commitments to oil exporters in the OPEC + alliance with Moscow.

Macron also received the new President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, last week in Paris. For this occasion, countries signed a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement for Energy Cooperation”.

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