JEDDAH: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday after a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he wants to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.
Speaking to reporters, Scholz said that the partnership should go beyond fossil fuels to include hydrogen and renewable energies.
Germany, until recently heavily dependent on Russia for gas, has been seeking to diversify its energy supply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Scholz, on a two-day trip to the Gulf, said he also addressed issues involving human and civil rights in talks with the Crown Prince.
During the meeting, the Crown Prince and Scholz discussed aspects of Saudi-German relations and areas of partnership between the two countries.
The Crown Prince also discussed prospects of elevating the bilateral relationship with Germany and opportunities for the Kingdom’s development in accordance with Vision 2030.
After the Saudi Arabian visit, Scholz reached UAE on Saturday night, where he was welcomed by Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, and several officials at the Presidential Terminal of the Abu Dhabi International Airport, news agency WAM reported.
Scholz said on Sunday that he had seen progress in talks to buy liquefied natural gas and diesel from the UAE.
The German Chancellor, however, did not provide details on the talks with the UAE.
“We need to make sure that the production of LNG in the world is advanced to the point where the high demand that exists can be met without having to resort to the production capacity that exists in Russia,” Scholz told reporters.
Scholz further noted that Germany is determined to never again rely on a single energy supplier.
He added: “With the investments that we are now making in Germany, and that will become reality bit by bit next year, we will indeed have an infrastructure for gas imports for Germany, such that we are no longer directly dependent on the specific supplier at the other end of the pipeline, as we are with a pipeline connection.”
Amid these widespread calls to reduce Russian energy imports, Moscow retaliated by reducing gas flows and threatening to shut off all the taps, sending prices soaring and could even raise the possibility of energy rationing in Europe.
(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)