German leader seeks energy deals, alliances on Gulf trip

Sep 23, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: Sep 24, 2022, 7:29 am
In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, s...

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, shakes hands with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Sept 24, 2022. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

(Saudi Press Agency via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived Saturday in Saudi Arabia for the first stop of a two-day, three-country visit to the Middle East aimed at striking new energy deals and forging fresh alliances amid the economic and geopolitical turmoil resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The German government has scrambled to wean Europe’s biggest economy off Russian oil, coal and gas since coming to office last December.

While imports from Russia have declined sharply since then, there are fears that Germany, like other European countries, could face an energy shortage in the coming months.

Bridging the gap in natural gas supplies is a particular concern and one of the reasons Scholz is also heading to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar together with a high-level business delegation, senior officials said.

The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity ahead of the trip, said Scholz would raise human rights issues when he meets Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

Photos released by the oil-rich kingdom’s official news agency showed the two men greeting each other with a hearty handshake and smiles before sitting down for talks beneath a large portrait of King Salman.

U.S. President Joe Biden was criticized in July for meeting with the Saudi crown prince, despite allegations that he was involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron have also recently met with the Prince Mohammed.

“Of course, this trip is being closely watched and we’re going to encounter difficult partners there,” one German official said. “And yet we can’t refuse to have such meetings and such cooperation.”

“In a world with 193 countries and big differences, it’s not just the German chancellor but many other leaders too who are seeking out talks at the moment and trying to forge new alliances and strengthen old ties,” said the official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name on the trip.

From Saudi Arabia the German leader flies to Abu Dhabi, where he will meet with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates and sign an energy accord. Talks there will also address the country’s hosting of next year’s U.N. climate talks.

The final stop is Doha, where Scholz will meet Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to discuss bilateral relations, regional issues such as tensions with Iran and the Gulf nation’s upcoming hosting of the soccer World Cup.

German officials said all energy agreements will take into account the country’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2045, requiring a shift from natural gas to hydrogen produced with renewable energy in the coming decades. Saudi Arabia, which has vast regions suitable for cheap solar power generation, is seen as a particularly suitable supplier of hydrogen, they said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this photo provided by the Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2022 on Saturd...
Associated Press

St. Edward’s Crown moved out of tower ahead of coronation

LONDON (AP) — St. Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels viewed by millions of people every year at the Tower of London, has been moved to an undisclosed location for modification in preparation for the coronation of King Charles III next year. The move was kept secret for security reasons until the operation […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. ...
Associated Press

Pentagon chief: US faces pivotal years in countering China

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. is at a pivotal point with China and will need military strength to ensure that American values, not Beijing’s, set global norms in the 21st century, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday. Austin’s speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum capped a week in which the Pentagon was […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Jury awards ex-Maine trooper $300,000 in whistleblower case

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A jury in Maine awarded a now-retired state trooper $300,000 Friday after finding that the state police retaliated against him when he raised concerns about the agency’s intelligence gathering work. George Loder, 53, filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that he was unfairly punished after he went to his superiors with concerns […]
2 days ago
This undated photo from Wise County Sheriff's Office shows Tanner Lynn Horner. Horner, 31, was arre...
Associated Press

Body of 7-year-old Texas girl found, FedEx driver arrested

PARADISE, Texas (AP) — A 7-year-old Texas girl has been found dead, two days after being reported missing, and a FedEx delivery driver arrested in her death, authorities said. The body of Athena Strand was found Friday and Tanner Lynn Horner, 31, was arrested on kidnapping and murder charges after confessing to killing the girl […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Scientists call for action to help sunflower sea stars

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Scientists along the West Coast are calling for action to help sunflower sea stars, among the largest sea stars in the world, recover from catastrophic population declines. Experts say a sea star wasting disease epidemic that began in 2013 has decimated about 95% of the population from the Aleutian Islands of […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Pug who went viral on TikTok for ‘no bones day’ dies

Noodles, a senior pug who predicted on social media whether it would be a bones day or a no bones day, has died, according to his owner. Jonathan Graziano posted on Instagram on Saturday that his 14-year-old dog died Friday, calling it a “day I always knew was coming but never thought it would arrive.” […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
German leader seeks energy deals, alliances on Gulf trip