The Elysée Palace issued on Friday a statement on the meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stating that the two sides expressed their desire “to deepen the existing relations between the two countries and to continue consultations in order to confront regional and global challenges, particularly environmental changes.”
The statement added that Macron voiced his “deep concern over the Russian aggression on Ukraine, its catastrophic consequences for civilians and the global food crisis,” adding that the two leaders stressed “the need to find a way out of the conflict and strengthen cooperation to limit its effects on Europe, the Middle East and the world.”
“The President of the Republic underscored the importance of close coordination with Saudi Arabia on diversifying energy supplies to European states and introduced the FARM [Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission] initiative,” the statement read on Friday.
It also noted that Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Macron expressed their “common commitment to the security and stability of the Middle East, and affirmed their determination to continue joint efforts to permanently reduce tensions.”
Regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, the statement said that Macron “stressed the need for Iran to seize the opportunity presented to it as long as it is available and return to the agreement.”
The French president also said that his country welcomed any move that would enhance dialogue and push towards regional integration, in accordance with the spirit of the Baghdad conference, which was held last summer.
On Lebanon, the two sides underlined the necessity to strengthening cooperation, specifically within the framework of the humanitarian development mechanism that they jointly launched on the occasion of Macron’s visit to Jeddah in December 2021.
Both Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Macron agreed on the importance of implementing comprehensive political and economic reforms to maintain Lebanon’s sovereignty, and “expressed satisfaction” with the work of the Saudi-French fund for humanitarian and relief work in the country, according to the joint statement.
Regarding Syria, Macron reiterated French adherence to the ceasefire in northern Syria, and the need to avoid any unilateral military action that would undermine the efforts of the international coalition against ISIS.
The French president also commended Saudi Arabia’s efforts and support for the truce in Yemen. The Kingdom, meanwhile, appreciated France’s support for UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis.
The French president expressed his concern over the situation in the Middle East, saying he was willing to work for a lasting and just peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The statement emphasized that the Crown Prince and Macron “agreed to develop and deepen the existing partnership between the two countries.” They also discussed “means of enhancing cooperation in the war on terrorism and maintaining the security of sea lanes.”
On the economy, the French president commended Riyadh’s efforts to diversify its economy within the framework of Vision 2030, and expressed the willingness of French companies to keep pace with the ongoing transformations in Saudi Arabia, specifically in the fields of energy.