After meeting with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler in Jeddah, French President Emmanuel Macron concluded his Gulf visit.
Following Macron’s meeting with the Qatari Emir on Saturday, he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss regional stability, particularly in crisis-hit Lebanon, after emphasizing that he had not overlooked Riyadh’s human rights record.
Following visits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar as part of a brief Gulf tour, Macron arrived in Jeddah.
Since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated and tortured inside Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate in 2018, Macron is one of the first Western leaders to meet with Prince Mohammed in the country.
The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives tainted his worldwide reputation and attracted global outrage.
Macron, on the other hand, stated that engagement with Saudi Arabia is vital in order to “work for stability in the region.” “It does not mean that I endorse anything,” he continued, referring to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
During his talks with the Saudi Crown Prince, Macron was expected to bring up Lebanon’s economic problems, which has been exacerbated by a diplomatic spat that erupted in October between Beirut and other Gulf governments, particularly Saudi Arabia, which had imposed import restrictions.