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Macron sets his sights on the Persian Gulf

During his diplomatic tour, Macron will try to manage the crisis in Lebanon in order to find a possible solution to the economic and political crisis
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AFP/YOAN VALAT  -   French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emanuel Macron begins his diplomatic tour of the Gulf. This diplomacy is in response to France's intention to try to consolidate its position in the region and initiate a road map to deal with issues related to the fight against terrorism and the management of the different crises that the region is currently experiencing.

He plans to visit three countries in the Persian Gulf, beginning his first visit in the United Arab Emirates, followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. During these brief meetings, which are expected to last two days, Macron will try to discuss the worsening situation in Lebanon, which is currently undergoing a major economic and political crisis.

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AP/JEROME DELAY  -  Operation Barkhane would end and be replaced by support to local partners and counter-terrorism.

During the meetings, Macron wants to discuss the fight against terrorism at a time when France is withdrawing its troops from the Sahel after more than eight years of leading a series of counter-terrorism operations. He will also discuss nuclear negotiations with Iran and the stabilisation of Libya itself. It should be noted that Libya is now immersed in a pre-electoral phase, as the country is expected to hold general elections on 24 December. With the holding of these elections, it is hoped that the country will be able to embark on a peaceful path after almost a decade of civil conflict.

According to sources at the Elysée, the French president will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Dubai for his first meeting, with whom he will co-chair a ceremony at which a series of economic and commercial agreements are expected to be signed. In this line, Macron could sign a military contract for the sale of 60 Rafale fighter jets, although the Elysée has tried to avoid giving details about the possible purchase.

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PHOTO/BANDAR ALGALOUD  -  Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan

Also, coinciding with the Dubai Expo 2020, Macron will visit the exhibition, showing particular interest in the pavilions of France and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar will be the next country on his tour. Once there, the French President will meet with Emir Tamim ben Hamad al-Thani. He will then travel to the Saudi city of Jeddah where he is expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before returning to Paris.

Macron will be accompanied on his tour by the French ministers of economy, foreign affairs, defence and culture, as well as the national coordinator of the fight against terrorism and a group of executives from major companies such as Safran, Air Liquide and Airbus.