Saudi Arabia / United Arab Emirates - Visit by Catherine Colonna (2 - 3 February 2023)


Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna will be visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from February 1 to 3.

Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, the minister will assure her Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and her Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed, of France’s determination to stand with its partners and to maintain its commitment to regional security and stability. Ms. Colonna will prioritize strengthening regional cooperation in the wake of the two so-called Baghdad Conferences, the second of which was held on December 20 in Amman, Jordan. She and her counterparts will discuss the most pressing regional and international issues: Iran, the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Yemen and the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In Saudi Arabia, Ms. Colonna will emphasize that France wishes to provide support for the implementation of Vision 2030, the plan to reform and modernize the country, particularly in the economic, energy-related and cultural spheres. She will finalize an agreement on energy cooperation with Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud. With Culture Minister Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, she will discuss expanding our cultural partnership and will review the AlUla project.

In the United Arab Emirates, Ms. Colonna will visit the French military base to commend our forces in the Emirates on their daily contribution to regional security and stability. She will visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is emblematic of the excellent cultural cooperation between our two countries, and she will inaugurate the Lycée Français International Théodore Monod. The Minister will reaffirm our willingness to work together on preparations for the COP28 Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Dubai at the end of this year.

In Riyadh, the Minister will meet with the new Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with which we maintain a strategic partnership and share the goals of regional security, stability and prosperity.