French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris on July 28, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed cooperation to stabilise energy markets and food supplies amid global concerns about economic fallout from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The Saudi prince was received by Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday where the French leader hosted Prince Mohammed at a working dinner during his official visit to France.

A statement issued at the end of the Saudi crown prince’s visit on Friday said his talks with Macron covered boosting cooperation in renewable energy including clean hydrogen.

Their talks also stressed importance of stabilising global energy markets, sustaining food supplies of wheat and grains to all countries, and maintaining an abundance of supply and price stability, said the statement carried by the Saudi official news agency SPA.

The talks came as Europe is striving for energy alternatives to lessen its reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies.

During the Paris talks, Saudi Arabia and France underlined the necessity of “constant evaluation of common threats” to their interests as well as to Middle East security and stability. They agreed to bolster cooperation in defence fields and anti-terror efforts.

They also exchanged views on the current regional and international situations.

France, said the statement, hailed Riyadh’s backing for an ongoing truce in neighbouring Yemen. Last month, Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and Iran-aligned rebels agreed to extend for two more months a UN-brokered ceasefire across the country that has been wracked by more than seven years of feud.

Prince Mohammed’s trip to France followed a visit to Greece where energy supplies were among top issues of discussion.

In 2018, the crown prince visited France where a total of 19 cooperation pacts worth more than $18 billion were signed.