Beyond the Headlines: Macron in the Middle East

President Emmanuel Macron of France has been back in the Middle East. This time he was in Saudi Arabia, his first visit to the kingdom since 2017, before heading to the UAE.

The French leader has made something of a name for himself in the region in recent years. He staked significant political capital on cajoling Lebanon’s leaders to pass reforms to solve their dire economic crisis. He hosted a political summit in Baghdad with officials from across the region – including Iran and the Gulf – that sought to build avenues for dialogue rather than conflict. He has visited holy sites in Jerusalem, cultural sites in the Emirates and met illusive musical icon Fairuz in Lebanon. He has cut deals on energy, defence, the environment, and culture.

On this week's Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines-Young looks at Macron in the Middle East: what came out of his recent visits, why he has been so engaged in the region and what that means for French diplomacy.

Updated: December 11th 2021, 3:59 AM