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Germany’s Scholz in Saudi Arabia on Gulf vitality hunt

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday visited Saudi Arabia and held talks with its crown prince initially of a two-day Gulf tour, within the hope of sealing new vitality offers.

Scholz, accompanied by a sizeable business delegation, flew in to Jeddah on the Red Sea the place he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, de facto ruler of the nation.

The German chancellor hopes to agree new vitality partnerships with the oil- and gas-rich Gulf states, following the lack of provides from Russia within the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Scholz’s assembly with Prince Mohammed was seen as delicate due to the homicide of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was killed and dismembered within the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October 2018.

“We discussed all questions concerning human rights… Nothing that should have been said was omitted,” Scholz instructed German reporters accompanying him as he flew out of Jeddah, after being requested if the Khashoggi case was raised.

Until lately, Prince Mohammed was considered a pariah within the West as a result of homicide.

The German authorities strongly condemned the homicide and, forward of the tour, indicated it might not be “editing” its place.

But Saudi Arabia’s significance as a fossil fuels exporter and regional energy meant a “solid working relationship” was wanted with the crown prince, a authorities supply defined.

The 37-year-old Prince Mohammed was prone to steer the nation via “the next 10, 20 or 30 years”, he added.

Berlin needs to increase cooperation on new applied sciences equivalent to inexperienced hydrogen produced utilizing renewable vitality, which Germany might import in huge portions from the Gulf states, mentioned authorities sources.

The chancellor can also be looking for to strengthen political cooperation with the regional powers, courted on the opposite facet by China and Russia.

Scholz mentioned he had raised the subject of the warfare in Ukraine.

“I have made it clear that it is important for us to support Ukraine in defending its own integrity and sovereignty and that we will continue to do so — and that Russia must withdraw its troops,” Scholz mentioned.

Ahead of the journey, a German authorities supply mentioned that “we have to work with Saudi Arabia if we want to sort out, for example, the question of the war in Yemen or tackle the Iranian question,” referring to Tehran’s regional army affect.

Scholz left Saudi for the UAE on Saturday, and he is because of meet with Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Sunday morning.

Later the identical day, the chancellor will travel to gas-rich Qatar to carry talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

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