Macron receives the prince of Saudi Arabia in full “international rehabilitation”

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Macron receives the prince of Saudi Arabia in full

French President Emmanuel Macron and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman will meet tonight for “a working dinner” in full “international rehabilitation” after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The visit to the French capital comes after the Saudi prince As part of a small European tour, he met with the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Macron did not want to waste the first visit of the Saudi heir to Europe after the Khashoggi case and has organized a “work dinner” this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at his official residence, the Elysée Palace, as reported by the president's office. The meeting is scheduled to address issues such as energy supply and control of the Iranian nuclear program, Saudi Arabia's biggest regional rival.

 Macron receives the prince of Saudi Arabia in full

The Crown Prince, Mohamed Bin Salman, talks with the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

EFE/EPA/GEORGE VITSARAS

This visit comes less than two weeks after US President Joe Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia, which the return to the international scene of Mohamed bin Salman (MBS), in the midst of the war in Ukraine and in the face of the increase in energy prices . “I am deeply concerned about this visit because of what it means for the world and for Jamal (Khashoggi) and people like him,” he said. to AFP Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International (AI), who describes MBS as a man “who does not tolerate dissent.”

The tour This is his first trip to Europe since the brutal murder of Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents in the country's consulate in Istanbul in 2018. A crime qualified by an investigation of the UN as a “extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia is responsible”. US intelligence claimed that Bin Salman “approved” The operation against Khashoggi, but Riyadh denies it.

Double measuring stick

This sparked global outrage not only at the removal of a major dissident from the Saudi regime, but also at the manner in which it was brought to an end. with him. Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered with a saw on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate. “Mohamed bin Salman's visit to France, or Joe Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia, does not change the fact that he is a murderer,” he said. Callamard, who at the time of the murder was the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial crimes, when she began the investigation. the investigation.

That it is received by world leaders “is even more shocking, if possible, since many of them expressed their condemnation (of the assassination) and committed not to integrate MBS into the international community,” denounces Callamard, who speaks of a “double standard”.

Despite Saudi Arabia's history of human rights abuses< /strong>, many western powers see in Riyadh a fundamental partner for theenergy and defense issues, and for his firm opposition to the theocratic regime in Iran. Callamard expressed his concern that “values ​​would disappear due to the increase in the price of oil”.

Political influence

The French president s already met with Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia in December 2021, a visit that created controversy. In addition, in the last few days Macron has also received in Paris two leaders allied with Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian Abdul Fatah al Sisi and Mohamed bin Zayed, from the United Arab Emirates United.

The red carpet rolled out for these two leaders disappointed. to human rights activists, but Macron traveled then to Guinea Bisau, Cameroon and Benin, three countries in Africa that are not seen as exemplary democracies. “The war in Ukraine has put the energy-producing countries back at the center of the board, and they are taking advantage of it,” he said. Camille Lons, researcher at the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). “This gives them political clout which they use to reassert their importance on the international stage,” he added.

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