Berlin, Europe Brief News – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, during a two-day visit to the Gulf region.
The trip aims at striking new energy deals and forging fresh alliances amid the economic and geopolitical turmoil resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The German Chancellor ‘s first stop Saturday was Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Human rights groups criticised the meeting because of Prince Mohammed’s alleged involvement in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Scholz told reporters after the meeting that he had discussed “all the questions around civil and human rights” with the prince, but declined to elaborate.
German officials noted ahead of the trip that Scholz is one of several Western leaders to meet with the Saudi crown prince in recent months, including U.S. President Joe Biden, former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.
German officials said all energy agreements will take into account the country’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2045, requiring a shift from natural gas to hydrogen produced with renewable energy in the coming decades.
Saudi Arabia, which has vast regions suitable for cheap solar power generation, is seen as a particularly suitable supplier of hydrogen, they said.