German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this week became the latest senior western politician to make a pilgrimage to the Middle East’s energy powerhouses. In a swift two-day trip he visited Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. While energy was at the top of the agenda at each stop, the only concrete pledges for energy supplies came from the UAE.

Germany’s economy has been built on a foundation of cheap Russian gas, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced Berlin to look further afield for supplies. “The Chancellor’s trip to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia at the weekend served this purpose. The focus was on how we can compensate for the loss of the supplier, Russia, in the short term,” said a government spokesperson on 26 September. (CONTINUED - 1130 WORDS)