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The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in France for a three-day visit


The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed ben Salmane, arrived in Paris on Sunday, April 8 for a three-day visit, in order to praise his reforms and tighten ties with France after tensions related to regional crises.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, aged 32, nicknamed "MBS", arrived Sunday at 11:05 am at Bourget airport, near Paris, and was greeted by Foreign Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian, learned AFP from concordant sources. In France, he must meet Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to tighten the links of a complicated relationship between the two countries, and while Saudi Arabia is largely involved in the many crises that shake the Middle East.

No "mirobolant" contract

In Paris, no "mirobolant" contract is expected. President Emmanuel Macron wants above all to establish, according to the Elysee, a "new cooperation" with the oil kingdom, which should enter a new social and economic phase with the accession to power of MBS. "It's about forging a new partnership with France, and not just chasing contracts," AFP confirmed to a source close to the Saudi delegation.

Visit to Station F

The focus will be on culture, tourism, investments for the future and new technologies, including a visit, Monday, April 9, the crown prince at Station F, the incubator of Parisian start-ups. Nearly 18 memoranda of understanding in the fields of tourism, energy and transport must be signed, says another source close to the Saudi delegation. A cooperation agreement for the development of Al Ula, which contains important archaeological remains, must also be announced.

During the Tuesday afternoon meeting with President Macron, there will also be regional crises: Syria, the Iranian nuclear agreement, the war in Yemen, where Ryad intervenes militarily, or the situation in Lebanon. It may also be a question of the Sahel, Saudi Arabia being a contributor to G5 Sahel, the development and security structure of the region essential for Paris. With regard to Yemen, NGOs intend to be heard during the visit of "MBS" to stop Paris arms exports to Saudi Arabia, regularly criticized for the burrs suffered by civilians in this country. country.

Offensive of seduction

The Saudi Crown Prince is in the midst of the Western's offensive of seduction to project a somewhat more liberal image of the conservative kingdom to authoritarian rule. He has already visited the United Kingdom and has just spent three weeks in the United States, where he has signed a multitude of agreements to promote investments in his country that he wants to prepare for the post-oil era.

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