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Germany's Olaf Scholz talks energy supply with UAE leaders

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Berlin, Sep 25: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday after meeting with the Saudi crown prince on Saturday.

Scholz said he had made progress in talks in Abu Dhabi to buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from the Gulf state.

Germanys Olaf Scholz talks energy supply with UAE leaders

The chancellor said "a whole series" of projects were already in the works.

He also emphasized the need to rely on a variety of sources for Germany's energy needs, and that being dependent on just one source "will certainly not happen again."

Energy trumps human rights as Scholz visits RiyadhEnergy trumps human rights as Scholz visits Riyadh

Scholz is scheduled to stop off in Qatar — the controversial host of this year's World Cup soccer tournament — later on Sunday to end his two-day trip.

What is Germany looking for in the Gulf?

"We need to make sure that the production of LNG in the world is advanced to the point where the high demand that exists can be met without having to resort to the production capacity that exists in Russia," the chancellor said.

Scholz is being accompanied by a large delegation of German business leaders whose firms are particularly vulnerable to gas shortages this winter.

Germany is also on the lookout for sources of green hydrogen produced using renewable energies which it may hope to source from the Gulf.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Scholz spoke of the importance of securing energy supplies for Germany as well as respecting human rights — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of being behind the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Olaf Scholz at UN decries Russian invasionOlaf Scholz at UN decries Russian invasion

Learning from past mistakes?

The German leader's visit comes as the country seeks to shore up replacement sources of energy after pledging to cut its dependence on Russian gas.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Berlin had bought around 55% of its gas from Moscow and had been planning to open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the North Sea for even more direct access to Russian energy imports.

However, deliveries from Russia have dwindled to almost nothing, helping to send energy costs through the roof and forcing the German government to buy out the country's main energy provider Uniper.

Scholz is expected to sign a deal with the UAE to secure LNG supplies. But such a course is not without controversy for the German chancellor thanks to the poor human rights records of his prospective partners, not to mention the country's plan to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045.

ab/wd (dpa, Reuters)

While you're here: Every Tuesday, DW editors round up what is happening in German politics and society. You can sign up here for the weekly email newsletter Berlin Briefing.

Source: DW

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