Mohamed Bin Salman will meet Greek and French leaders to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations, the Saudi royal court said.
The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed Ben Salman, will travel to Greece on Tuesday July 26 and then to France, for his first visit to the European Union since the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to the official agency. He will meet “the leaders of Greece and France to discuss bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them in different areas,” said the SPA agency, quoting a press release from the royal court.
This visit comes less than two weeks after that of the American president, Joe Biden, in the kingdom, which consecrated the return of the crown prince on the international scene, in a context of war in Ukraine and soaring energy prices.
Relieve the oil market
Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the kingdom’s de facto ruler, had been ostracized by Western countries after the grisly 2018 murder of critical journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul. The American intelligence services have pointed the responsibility of Mohammed ben Salmane, poisoning relations between Riyadh and Washington. Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have been trying to convince the leading exporter of crude oil to open the floodgates to relieve the markets.
However, Ryad is resisting pressure from these allies, citing its commitment to OPEC+, the oil alliance it co-leads with Moscow. Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron received the new President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, in Paris. During the trip, the officials announced an agreement between French energy giant Total Energies and Emirati state oil company ADNOC “for cooperation in the field of energy supply”.