Macron believes it is necessary to talk to Saudi Arabia for “regional stability”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who was traveling in the Gulf, on Friday said it was necessary to speak to Saudi Arabia, the “largest country in the Gulf” in order to “work for the stability of the region”. .

• Also read: Macron on tour in the Gulf, between diplomacy and treaties

It “doesn’t mean we’re complacent,” he said, referring to the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul, which tarnished the reputation of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the strongman of the kingdom.

Emmanuel Macron made these statements in the United Arab Emirates and is due to continue his tour in Qatar on Friday night and in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, where he will be one of the first Western leaders to meet MBS since the assassination of Khashoggi.

“I note that Saudi Arabia organized the G20 the following year (the Khashoggi affair) and I did not realize that many powers boycotted the G20,” said the French president.

“We have always been clear on the issue of human rights or this case,” he said.

Macron believes it is necessary to talk to Saudi Arabia for

“France has a role to play in the region (…) but how can we want to work for the stability of the region, how can we deal with Lebanon and with so many issues while ignoring the first Gulf country in terms of geography? and size”.

“It doesn’t mean we’re complacent, it doesn’t mean we forget,” he said.

“We remain a demanding partner, but we have to talk to each other, remain committed” in the region, “otherwise dialogue is no longer possible,” said the French President.

Emmanuel Macron has been very committed to helping Lebanon emerge from the worst socio-economic crisis in its history for the past year. Relations between Beirut and the Arab Gulf States have become increasingly strained in recent years due to the growing influence of pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

Macron believes it is necessary to talk to Saudi Arabia for

The first leg of Emmanuel Macron’s golf trip resulted in the signing of several agreements between France and the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, where the President was accompanied by a large delegation of ministers and business leaders.

17 billion for defense

The Emirates will purchase 80 Rafale fighter jets, a record €16 billion order for a fighter jet that has already started well into the year.

Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Eric Trappier signed the contract with Tarek Abdul Raheem Al-Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council, responsible for security and defense acquisitions.

In addition to the Rafale, there are 12 Caracal helicopters and related items. According to the French Presidency, the order represents a total of more than 17 billion euros.

The aircraft will be delivered from 2027 to the F4 standard, a nearly two billion euro development program to be delivered in 2024.

Louvre Abu Dhabi License Renewal

The Louvre Abu Dhabi license agreement, which opened to great fanfare in 2017 and whose architecture was signed by Frenchman Jean Nouvel, has been extended by ten years to 2047.

That extension represents the payment of 165 million euros by Abu Dhabi between 2022 and 2023, said French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot, who signed the deal between Mr Macron and the Emirates’ de facto leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Agreement signed by Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Macron believes it is necessary to talk to Saudi Arabia for

In return, the Louvre undertakes to loan four of his emblematic works, the names of which have not been disclosed.

Cooperation and investments with two sovereign wealth funds

The French Ministry of Economy has signed two cooperation agreements with sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi, Mubadala and ADQ.

The first plans to develop Mubadala’s €1.4 billion investment in French funds over ten years.

The second, with ADQ, will mobilize €4.6 billion over five years to support or grow partnerships between the Emirati Fund and French companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the fields of logistics, health, agriculture and green energy strengthen.

For its part, the French public bank Bpifrance also announces the renewal of its collaboration with the Mubadala Fund, with each party committing to invest 2 billion euros over ten years.

These investments will be made through the €3.2 billion Franco Emirati Fund (FEF) in private equity, with the remaining €800 million dedicated to French venture capital funds or innovative French companies.

cooperation in space

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the National Center for Space Studies and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, named after the Emir of Dubai, to collaborate on a second Emirati lunar rover Rashid-2. The first is scheduled to be broadcast in 2022 by Japanese lunar exploration company iSpace.

The Emirates, newcomers to the space race they hope to triumph in, also placed their probe Amal in orbit around Mars in February 2021, becoming the first Arab country to accomplish such a feat.

Support for large orders

Several other agreements, notably in the energy sector, have been struck between French and Emirati companies on the occasion of Mr Macron’s visit, worth almost 6 billion euros, according to the French Economy Ministry and Emirati official agency WAM.

A cooperation agreement worth 4.4 billion euros has been signed in the hydrogen sector between the French energy giant Engie and the renewable energy company Masdar, a subsidiary of the Mubadala Fund.

Technip Energies, a power engineering and services company, has signed a US$1.5 billion contract with the Emirates’ national oil company, ADNOC, to build an ethane cracker.

The latter has also entered into a partnership with TotalEnergies aimed at identifying joint projects related to CO2 capture and storage, but also investments in the production of hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia.

Finally, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), a subsidiary of ADQ that notably led the consortium spearheading the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world near Abu Dhabi, signed a memorandum of understanding with EDF. Agreement on the exchange of experience between nuclear power plant operators and on research and development.


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