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Scholz to visit Saudi Arabia

By AFP - Sep 19,2022 - Last updated at Sep 19,2022

BERLIN — Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Saudi Arabia and meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as part of a Gulf trip, his spokesman said on Monday, as Germany rushes to secure energy supplies.

Scholz two-day trip next weekend will also take him to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Scholz, accompanied by a business delegation, will visit Saudi Arabia on Saturday, where he will meet with the crown prince and — if his health permits it — King Salman, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said. 

He did not go into detail about the reasons for Scholz's Gulf visit but said he would be "very surprised" if the topic of energy was not discussed. 

On Sunday, Scholz will head to the UAE and meet with President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and in the afternoon will hold talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. 

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck already visited Qatar and the UAE in March in an effort to find alternatives to Russian gas, which Germany has traditionally depended on heavily.

Russia's decision to cut off supplies has triggered an energy crisis in Europe, with consumers and businesses facing soaring bills as winter approaches. 

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