The first visit to France by Mohammed ben Salmane since the assassination by Saudi agents of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has aroused the strong anger of human rights defenders. The Elysée has indicated that Emmanuel Macron will address the “question of human rights” during his dinner Thursday evening with him.
Emmanuel Macron will address the “question of human rights” during his dinner Thursday evening with Mohammed bin Salman, the French presidency has said, as the visit of the Saudi crown prince arouses the strong anger of human rights defenders. “The President of the Republic will address the issue of human rights as he does each time with Mohammed ben Salmane. He will address (this issue) in general but he will take the opportunity to talk about individual cases”, affirmed the Elysium.
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Asked about the heated controversy aroused by the first visit to France by Mohammed bin Salman (known as “MBS”) since the assassination by Saudi agents of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the French presidency reiterated its request that those “responsible” for this murder “be judged”. But the Elysée insisted that this dinner was necessary, in view of soaring energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the food crisis in the Middle East and concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. “If we want to confront each other, to tackle the consequences of these crises on the one hand and to weigh in the region for the benefit of all, the only way is to speak with all the main players”, estimated the French presidency.
Emmanuel Macron receives “MBS” for dinner on Thursday evening, a visit that arouses the ire of human rights defenders. The meeting between the French head of state and the Saudi crown prince, which comes after that of Emmanuel Macron in Jeddah in December, further signals the “rehabilitation” of the de facto leader of the kingdom, less than two weeks after the visit of US President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia, which definitively consecrated the return of the prince to the international scene.
The latter had indeed been banned by Western countries, after the atrocious murder in 2018 of Jamal Khashoggi. Columnist for the Washington Post, critic of Saudi power, the journalist was killed and dismembered on October 2, 2018 in the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul when he came to get the papers necessary for his marriage. His body has never been found.