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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Saudi Crown Prince to meet Macron in France

The two leaders will discuss a new strategic partnership

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Riyadh in November 2017. Saudi Press Agency via AP
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Riyadh in November 2017. Saudi Press Agency via AP

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will meet President Emmanuel Macron on an official visit to France next week.

Prince Mohammed is expected to arrive on Sunday for a two-day trip, which will see him discuss “a new strategic partnership” with the French President focused on investment in renewable energy and the digital economy, French officials said.

"We want a new kind of cooperation, less focused on one-off contracts and more on forward-looking investments, namely in the digital economy and renewable energy, with a shared vision," the French presidency added in a statement.

The statement did not reveal where Prince Mohammed will stay during his trip.

The Saudi Crown Prince will have dinner with Mr Macron on Tuesday where the two leaders will discuss ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, including the war in Yemen, which has entered its fourth year.

Earlier this week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged both sides fighting in the conflict to come to a political resolution to end the war, which has left 22 million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

In November last year, Mr Macron made a surprise visit to Riyadh where he was welcomed by the Saudi Crown Prince at the airport.

Prince Mohammed has already visited the United States and Britain on an international tour designed to share his ambitious plan to reform the Kingdom through Vision 2030 with the West.

The Crown Prince is diversifying the Saudi economy beyond oil revenues, creating jobs for young Saudis and expanding the private sector. He has also made Saudi Arabia a new travel destination by issuing tourist visas for the first time earlier this month.

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