Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeEuropean NewsMacron hosts Saudi Arabia’s ‘bone noticed’ prince – POLITICO

Macron hosts Saudi Arabia’s ‘bone noticed’ prince – POLITICO

Press play to hearken to this text

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has determined to host the ruler of oil wealthy Saudi Arabia for dinner in Paris, days after lecturing African leaders for failing to face as much as tyranny on the planet.

On Thursday evening, Macron is welcoming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also called MBS, on the Elysée Palace for a working dinner. The invitation has sparked fierce criticism from all corners.

Some are questioning Macron’s hypocrisy in lending his political capital to assist rehabilitate the de facto Saudi ruler who acquired widespread condemnation following the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The brutal killing contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul the place Saudi brokers used a bone noticed to dismember the physique despatched shockwaves by means of the worldwide group. 

The crown prince’s French go to is a part of his first journey to Europe because the killing — reportedly ordered by bin Salman himself.

“There is no such thing as a excuse for giving this man a move and receiving him and rolling out the purple carpet to him as if none of that is occurring,” mentioned Ahmed Benchemsi from NGO Human Rights Watch, referring to the continued human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cenzig, advised AFP she was “outraged that Emmanuel Macron receives with all of the honors the executioner of my fiancé.”

For Macron, the gear-shift couldn’t be extra jarring. Throughout his four-day journey to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea Bissau, Macron lashed out towards Russia’s “world hybrid warfare” which used data, vitality and meals as weapons, and lectured African leaders on “their hypocrisy” in refusing to take sides over the warfare in Ukraine. 

“Russia is without doubt one of the final imperial colonial powers — it decides to invade a neighboring nation to defend its pursuits,” he mentioned Wednesday in Benin. In the course of the go to, Macron hoped to reset relations with French-speaking African nations and warn them towards falling beneath Russian President Vladimir Putin’s despotic affect. 

However again in Paris, Macron is about to interrupt bread within the presidential palace with one of the reviled leaders within the Center East, who has additionally come beneath intense criticism over the warfare in Yemen, the place he’s accused of utilizing hunger as a weapon of warfare.

The Élysée denied Macron was two-faced in his method to diplomacy. “It’s not being hypocritical, it’s about being environment friendly,” an Elysée official mentioned forward of the go to. 

“The president needs to weigh in and be helpful, attempt to resolve the issues France and Europe faces and assist de-escalate [regional] crises … and the one manner of doing that’s to talk to all people,” he mentioned. 

The homicide of Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly ordered by Mohammed bin Salman himself | Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP through Getty Photos

Final December, Macron turned the primary Western chief to go to the crown prince, utilizing his stature to pave the way in which for bin Salman’s return to the worldwide fold. The warfare in Ukraine and the West’s scramble to safe various vitality sources have accelerated MBS’s return to the worldwide diplomatic order after years of efforts to isolate the crown prince. 

U.S. President Joe Biden, who three years in the past vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “world pariah,” was photographed fist-bumping the crown prince throughout a go to to Jeddah final month. This week, bin Salman acquired a purple carpet welcome throughout a go to to Greece, which concluded with the signing of a number of bilateral agreements. 

Wallowing in oil

The dinner date on the Elysée has additionally provoked the fury of Macron’s vocal opposition, from each ends of the political spectrum. 

“The federal government’s vitality coverage is driving us off a cliff and they’re able to do something to proceed to wallow in oil,” mentioned Sandrine Rousseau, a Inexperienced MP from the left-wing NUPES coalition, citing human rights violations, ladies’s remedy and Saudi Arabia’s warfare in Yemen.

Proper-wing opponents accused the president of being inconsistent and taking an ethical stance solely when it fits him. 

“It proves that the one factor that issues is realpolitik… At the very least we admit realpolitik is what we do, we don’t fake,” mentioned Jean-Philippe Tanguy, a lawmaker for Marine Le Pen’s far-right Nationwide Rally, mentioning sanctions towards Russia for example of what he referred to as Macron’s “ethical diplomacy.”

“So long as we’re led by [the current government] that makes use of morality to have an agenda that’s not ethical in any respect, we might be within the absurd state of affairs of claiming that Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian chief, which is true, and that the Saudi prince is our good friend,” mentioned Tanguy.

The assembly comes as Macron and different Western leaders are struggling to turn into impartial of Moscow by securing vitality from various suppliers amid Russia’s warfare in Ukraine. However this hunt for vitality suppliers with clear information on points like human rights and local weather is proving not possible as lots of the world’s main oil-rich nations stay poor on these fronts.

Earlier this month, Macron hosted in Paris the president of the United Arab Emirates, with whom he signed a diesel provide settlement.

Diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia — the world’s high oil exporter — are key for Macron as he’s making an attempt to convey oil costs down, notably by placing stress on OPEC nations to extend oil manufacturing. 

Earlier this month, bin Salman mentioned Saudi Arabia received’t be capable to improve its manufacturing capability past 13 million barrels per day by 2027, and warned towards “unrealistic” environmental insurance policies which hurt fossil vitality.

Earlier this month, Macron hosted President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan | Ludovic Marin/AFP through Getty Photos

Talks with Saudi Arabia are a part of broader efforts to search out various vitality suppliers that are placing Western nations — which regularly depict themselves as human rights defenders — between a rock and a tough place. Final week, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen flew to Azerbaijan the place she secured a deal doubling gasoline provide to Europe and described the nation as “reliable.” The transfer was criticized by human proper teams and MEPs, who pointed to President Ilham Aliyev’s bribery scandals and human rights violations.

“Not elevating any of those points within the identify of financial pursuits, that’s referred to as cynicism,” mentioned Benchemsi, from Human Rights Watch. “It’s dropping these values that Western governments, together with France, fake to defend.” 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments