Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron dined inside the Louvre Museum on Sunday evening as the Saudi heir apparent kicked off a three-day visit to France، Bloomberg reported.
Prince Mohammed، 32، met with the 40-year-old French leader for a private meal in the former royal palace-turned-museum in Paris ahead of their official rounds of meetings and a state dinner on Tuesday. Macron and Mohammed، who is on his first visit to France as Crown Prince، already met in Riyadh in November. The French president’s office said the museum was chosen as a symbol of France’s cultural heritage and because of a new exhibition of the work of painter Eugene Delacroix that just opened. It cited the painter’s “Liberty Leading the People،” which shows a woman with naked chest standing on the barricades، holding the revolutionary red، white and blue flag over the corpses of fallen fighters. The painting depicts the 1830 uprising that contributed to the abdication of the French King Charles X، and is the poster of the exhibition.
The French president’s office declined to say in which of the museum’s rooms the two men dined، nor who accompanied them for the two-hour meal and talks. The Louvre didn’t return calls for comment.
The discussion was meant to “anticipate the topics” they would discuss during the visit، Macron’s office said. Points for discussion include Saudi Arabia and France’s strategic partnership، greater cultural cooperation، regional issues like Iran، Yemen، Syria and Israel. The two countries will work on defining a “strategic partnership” that will include some contracts، which Macron will sign on a visit to Saudi Arabia before the end of the year، his office added.