Emmanuel Macron welcomes Thursday, July 28, 2022 with a long leader’s handshake de facto from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was invited for a working dinner at the Élysée Palace.
This is the first visit to France by Mohammed bin Salman, known as “MBS”, since the killing by Saudi agents of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While this visit sparked angry protests from human rights defenders, here’s what needs to be remembered.
Also read: What is Mohammed bin Salman, the controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia, doing in France?
Crown Prince “thanks” France for “warm welcome”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has “thank you” this Friday, July 29, 2022 the President of France Emmanuel Macron for his “warm welcome” the day before.
In a message addressed to Emmanuel Macron, the Crown Prince expressed to the French President his “deep gratitude” and his “thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality” reserved for him on this official visit.
He added that the exchanges with the French President “confirming our common desire to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two friendly countries in all areas”on “continue coordination and consultation on issues of common interest” and on “strengthening security and stability in the region”.
The message specified that the crown prince had left France “after his official visit”.
MBS and Macron want to work together to “minimize the effects” of the war in Ukraine
“The President of the French Republic and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia welcome the strengthening of exchanges between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and France”, determines a press release from the Elysée, published this Friday at the end of the morning.
While the war in Ukraine is on the exchange menu, “The President of the Republic and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia emphasized the need to find a way out of the conflict and to intensify cooperation in order to reduce its effects in Europe, the Middle East and the whole world”. continues in the press release, which is specifically aimed at the issue of “Energy supplies”.
Regarding the question of human rights, the press release, which is more than two pages long, answers it in one sentence, without giving any details: “As part of the confidence dialogue between France and Saudi Arabia, the President of the Republic discussed the issue of human rights in Saudi Arabia”.
Lots of protests on the left
Many left-wing politicians strongly criticized this Thursday the visit to the Elysee Palace of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, echoing the arguments of human rights associations.
Critic of Saudi power, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul when he went to collect the papers needed for his wedding.
On Thursday, a complaint for complicity in torture and enforced disappearance in connection with his murder filed in Paris against the crown prince, announced the NGOs Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), founded by a Saudi journalist, and the Swiss NGO Trial. International.
Hatice Cengiz, fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, came out on Thursday “Scandalized and angry that Emmanuel Macron received with all the honors of the executioner of my fiance”.
The American intelligence services pointed the responsibility on the crown prince, who denied ordering the killing although he said he was responsible for it as a leader.
Praised for his reforms, “MBS” has nevertheless been criticized for the repression carried out against dissidents in religious, political, intellectual, economic circles and even within the royal family.