Germany’s Scholz seeks to deepen energy partnership with Saudi Arabia
JEDDAH — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he wants to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.
Speaking to reporters, Scholz said that the partnership should go beyond fossil fuels to include hydrogen and renewable energies.
Germany, until recently heavily dependent on Russia for gas, has been seeking to diversify its energy supply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Scholz, on a two-day trip to the Gulf, said he also addressed issues involving human and civil rights in talks with the prince.
Prominent German politicians from an array of parties called on Scholz to address the matters in an article on Saturday in Der Spiegel.
“You can assume that nothing was left unsaid,” he said when asked if he had also discussed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul four years ago triggered a global outcry and put pressure on Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.
A U.S. intelligence report released a year ago said the prince had approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi, but the Saudi government denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report’s findings.
In a sign of thawing relations, U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have visited the country and met with the prince. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Writing by Tom Sims, Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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