Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman left France early Friday after holding talks — focusing mainly on strategic partnership, energy supply and Iran — with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris late Thursday.
France and Saudi Arabia have agreed to boost the partnership between the two countries and continue consultations to face regional and global challenges, said Elysee Friday.
In a statement following the discussions between French President Emmanuel Macron and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Thursday, the Elysee noted that Macron underlined the importance of continuing the coordination initiated with Saudi Arabia with a view to diversifying the energy supplies of European states and presented the FARM initiative for world food security.
The statement also said that the two sides recalled their shared attachment to security and stability in the Middle East and expressed their desire to continue their joint efforts in favor of a lasting easing of tensions.
With regard to Lebanon, the two sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation, in particular within the framework of the joint humanitarian mechanism established following the visit of Macron to Jeddah in December 2021.
Both sides planned to continue to provide support for the benefit of vulnerable populations in Lebanon, it added.
Upon his departure from Paris after wrapping up his official visit to France, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a cable of thanks to the French President Emmanuel Macron.
“The discussions that we had with your Excellency confirmed our common desire to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two friendly countries in all fields, and to work on continuing the coordination and consultation on issues of common interest, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and your Excellency, which aims to achieve the interests of the two countries and their two friendly peoples, and the strengthening of security and stability in the region, he said in the cable of thanks.
On Thursday night, Macron warmly greeted the Saudi Crown Prince ahead of a dinner, with the two men enjoying a warm handshake that they emphasised by using all four hands.
Macron then guided Mohammed bin Salman up the steps on the red carpet into the Elysee Palace.
The Saudi Crown Prince arrived in France following a visit from US President Joe Biden to Riyadh earlier this month. On his way to France, he stopped in Greece this week.
Saudi Crown Prince and the French President held an expanded meeting in the presence of the delegations of the two countries.
The expanded meeting was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Energy; Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sports; Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture.
It was also attended by the Minister of state, Cabinet’s Member and National Security Advisor Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; the Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and the Minister of Investment, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih.
From the French side, the expanded meeting was attended by the Minister of Economy, Finance, Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Bruno Le Maire; the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna; the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher; the Minister for Sports, the Olympic Games and Paralympics, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, and the Acting Minister for European Affairs, Foreign Trade and Affairs of the French Abroad, Olivier Becht; Ambassador to the Kingdom Ludovic Pouille; Chief of the Special Staff of the President of the Republic, Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland; Diplomatic Advisor to the G7 and G20 Sherpas, Emmanuel Bony; Acting Deputy Diplomatic Advisor of Strategic Affairs and Disarmament at the Presidency of the Republic, Alice Rufo; Advisor to North Africa and the Middle East at the Presidency of the Republic, Patrick Dorrell, and President of the French Public Investment Bank, Nicolas Dufour.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of senior Saudi ministers — led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Minister of State Musaid Al-Aiban — had held separate talks with their French counterparts at the Elysée Palace.
The French president first hosted the Saudi Crown Prince in 2018, when he took him to an art exhibition at the Louvre museum, and travelled to the kingdom in December 2021 for further talks.
Mohammed bin Salman stayed overnight at his Louis XIV chateau in Louveciennes west of Paris which he acquired in 2015, according to a source who asked not to be named.
(With agency inputs)