The German leader continues his Gulf tour with stops in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar


BERLIN — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz planted a tree in a mangrove park in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, a symbolic nod to environmentalism during a two-day visit to the Gulf region focused mainly on securing new supplies of fossil fuels and the formation of new alliances against Russia.

Germany is trying to wean itself off energy imports from Russia in response to the invasion of ukrainewhile avoiding an energy shortage in the coming months.

To do this, the German government has been looking for new suppliers of natural gas while installing terminals to bring fuel into the country by ship.

After visiting the Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi, Scholz was due to meet UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to sign an agreement on energy cooperation and the country’s hosting of the UAE’s climate talks. UN next year.

Later on Sunday, he was traveling to Qatar to meet the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to discuss bilateral relations, regional issues such as tensions with Iran and the upcoming hosting of the FIFA World Cup. football by the Gulf country.

The German leader’s first stop on Saturday was Saudi Arabia, where he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Human rights groups criticized the meeting over Prince Mohammed’s alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Scholz told reporters after the meeting that he discussed “all civil and human rights issues” with the prince, but declined to elaborate.

German officials noted ahead of the trip that Scholz was one of many Western leaders to have met with the Saudi crown prince in recent months, including US President Joe Biden, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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


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