German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit three Gulf countries at the end of the week, especially Saudi Arabia, with the energy crisis on his agenda, his spokesman said Monday.
Stephen Hepstrait said during a routine press conference that the consultant, who is on his tour, accompanied by a delegation of senior representatives of many economic sectors, will visit Saudi Arabia on Saturday, then the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Sunday, before returning in the evening to Berlin.
The spokesman did not detail at present the topics to be covered by the talks, but it is expected to be led by the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He only said in response to a question, “It would be surprising if this topic was not specifically discussed.”
In Saudi Arabia, the second oil-producing country in the world after the US, Schulz will meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On Sunday, Scholz will meet with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, before meeting in the afternoon with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
In March, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck visited Qatar and the UAE in search of alternatives to Russian gas, which made up 55 percent of Germany’s gas imports before the war in Ukraine.
The Bundesbank warned Monday that the supply situation after the halt in imports from Russia “will be very difficult in the coming months,” noting the possibility of a contraction in Europe’s largest economy.