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French foreign minister on tour of Gulf to secure energy supplies

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian began an official tour Monday of Qatar, Oman and Kuwait to discuss Europe’s diversification of energy supplies amid an energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

On the first leg of the tour, he met with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and discussed “the ongoing efforts to put an end to the Russian offensive in Ukraine, its consequences on international hydrocarbon markets and the need to diversify the gas supplies of European countries,” said a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Le Drian will also meet with his counterparts in Oman and Kuwait, during which the talks will focus on gas and oil supplies to Europe in the context of the Ukraine war, the statement added. He will also discuss the regional crises in Yemen and Lebanon along with other bilateral issues, but the emphasis of the tour will be on securing Europe’s energy supplies amid global sanctions on Russia and rising crude prices.

His visit to the Gulf comes close on the heels of official trips by British and other European leaders to persuade the energy-rich region to boost its oil and gas supply to provide for their energy needs.

Last week, a German delegation led by Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck visited Qatar for talks on supplying gas to Europe, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson travelled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to talk about boosting oil production.


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