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Germany's Scholz cites energy supply 'progress' on UAE visit

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, here with UAE Minister of Climate Change Mariam Almheiri touring a mangrove park in Abu Dhabi, is visiting the Gulf to secure energy supplies
— Abu Dhabi (AFP)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday his country was determined to never again rely on a single energy supplier and touted "progress" in gas projects while visiting the United Arab Emirates.

The German leader is touring the Gulf in the hope of sealing new energy deals to replace Russian supplies and mitigate the energy crisis resulting from Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"We have made progress on a whole series of projects here in terms of the production and purchase of diesel and gas," Scholz told reporters in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi.

"The fact that we are dependent on one supplier and also dependent on its decisions will certainly not happen to us again," he added.

"With the investments that we are now making in Germany, and that will become reality bit by bit next year, we will indeed have an infrastructure for gas imports for Germany, such that we are no longer directly dependent on the specific supplier at the other end of the pipeline, as we are with a pipeline connection."

On Saturday, Scholz met in Jeddah with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and later Sunday he was due to fly to gas-rich Qatar to hold talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

His trip to Qatar comes one day after France's TotalEnergies signed a new $1.5 billion deal to help expand Doha's natural gas production.

Scholz said such projects were "important".

"We have to ensure that the production of liquefied gas in the world is advanced to such an extent that the high demand that exists can be met -- without having to fall back on the production capacities in Russia that have been used so far," he said.

In Abu Dhabi, Scholz toured an environmental project at a mangrove park with the UAE's climate change minister Mariam Almheiri.

Almheiri said discussions on Sunday would, in addition to energy security, cover "climate action and economic growth".

"The UAE believes all three pillars must go hand and hand. We cannot look at one or two of these pillars separately," she said.

She also reiterated Abu Dhabi's insistence on "a just transition" away from fossil fuels.

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been leading critics of what they describe as "unrealistic" transition models they say have contributed to the current energy crunch.

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