Gas deal with Abu Dhabi: Olaf Scholz is silent on the subject of human rights

Gas deal with Abu Dhabi: Olaf Scholz is silent on the subject of human rights

Chancellor Olaf Scholz reached an agreement on new natural gas supplies with Abu Dhabi during a visit to the Gulf States at the weekend. The pressure on him to raise human rights issues was palpable.

Scholz visited the three Gulf regions of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar during his two-day trip from Saturday to Sunday (September 24-25).

The cessation of gas deliveries to Germany by Russia has led to a real race for alternative energy sources.

Mr Scholz is therefore addressing the Gulf States, held responsible by the international community and Germany for the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose American intelligence services have blamed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as for the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar at this year’s World Cup.

Regarding Saudi Arabia, MM Scholz and bin Salman agreed to work more closely on energy issues, including fossil fuels, hydrogen and renewable energies.

When asked by a journalist if Mr Kashoggi’s murder had been mentioned, Mr Scholz replied: “We talked about all civil and human rights issues”.

Mr Scholz’s visit, during which he shook hands with Mr bin Salman, was widely seen as restoring relations between the country which had cooled after Mr Khashoggi’s death.

French President Emmanuel Macron faced similar criticism last July during a visit to France by Emirati President Mohammed Ben Zayed Al Nahyan or even the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. NGOs have accused him of violating human rights in France‘s search for new gas supplies.

Meanwhile, German energy giant RWE has reached an agreement with the United Arab Emirates that would see an initial delivery of 137,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany by December, followed by several more deliveries next year.

[Théo Bourgery-Gonse a édité cet article]

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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