PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron hosts Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Thursday, part of increased Western efforts to court the major oil-producing state amid the war in Ukraine and faltering talks to revive a nuclear deal with Iran.
MBS's visit to Paris comes two weeks after he held talks in Saudi Arabia with U.S. President Joe Biden. The West is keen to reset ties with the Gulf Arab oil giant as it seeks to counter the rising regional influence of Iran, Russia and China.
France and other European countries are looking to diversify their sources of energy following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe. Macron wants Riyadh, the world's largest oil exporter, to raise production.
(Reporting by John Irish, Editing by Gareth Jones)