November 30, 2022

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At the Elysee, a long handshake between Emmanuel Macron and Mohammed bin Salman is at the center of a controversial meeting.

The head of state welcomed the Saudi prince for a dinner at the Elysee Palace on Thursday evening, while the left-wing opposition and several NGOs condemned the gathering.

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It was a controversial reception. President Emmanuel Macron greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a long handshake as he is invited to a working dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday, July 28. The Head of State warmly welcomed his guest, who was dressed in traditional Saudi Arabian dress. It was his first visit to Europe since the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for which US intelligence believes the Saudi crown prince was responsible.

The meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Mohammed bin Salman is little more symbolic of the leader’s “rehabilitation”. In practice The kingdom comes less than two weeks before US President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The meeting marks the arrival of the crown prince, nicknamed “MBS,” on the international stage amid the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices.

The French president confirmed that Emmanuel Macron would address the country as two NGOs filed complaints against “MBS”, prompting outrage from human rights defenders. “Human rights question as he does every time with Mohammed bin Salman”.

In light of rising energy prices, the food crisis in the Middle East and concerns over the Iranian nuclear program, the Elysée affirms that this dinner is necessary. “If we want to face each other, overcome the consequences of these crises on the one hand and weigh in the region in a way that benefits everyone, the only way is to talk to all the major players”The leader said.

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