UAE President Sheikh Mohamed attends banquet hosted by Emmanuel Macron

French president hails historic visit during dinner reception at Palace of Versailles

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President Sheikh Mohamed attended a banquet on Monday hosted by French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles.

The event was held in honour of Sheikh Mohamed's visit to France.

During his first state visit, key energy agreements were signed as the allies bolstered their long-standing friendship.

"My dear friend, President Emmanuel Macron, I would like to extend thanks and appreciation for the warm welcome I received during my visit and the accompanying delegation to your country," Sheikh Mohamed said.

He said the ties between the Emirates and France were focused on confidence, credibility and mutual respect, state news agency Wam reported.

The foundations of the partnership were laid down by Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father.

''It is true that we have political and economic ties, but our cultural co-operation represents our utmost collaboration and this mirrors the quality of this strategic partnership,'' Sheikh Mohamed said.

He expressed his confidence in shared efforts to establish peace and security across the globe.

'Historic visit' boosts ties

President Macron welcomed Sheikh Mohamed on his landmark visit.

"I am pleased that you have chosen France to be your first state visit after being elected as President of the UAE. I appreciate your interest and realise how important it is," President Macron said.

He described the visit as "historic" and referenced the last visit paid by Sheikh Zayed during the era of François Mitterrand, a former president of France.

''This was 30 years ago and since then we have come a long way, as the relations became a partnership and then moved to an alliance that was strengthened by friendship between the two countries," President Macron said.

He also spoke of the significance of an enduring partnership based on "loyalty and reliability" and hailed Sheikh Mohamed's key role in addressing international challenges.

"Through your new presidential duties, you will continue your efforts to make the UAE a strong, stable, diversified and growing economy and an influential member of the international arena in addressing global and regional challenges," he said.

"France has been and will remain a faithful friend to you to achieve this aspiration. Our relations are based on two main pillars: loyalty and reliability."

President Macron also touched on the cultural connections now binding the nations as well as growing links in trade and tourism.

"I welcome you to a land that you are familiar with. We share places that are symbolic for youth and culture with Abu Dhabi, including the Louvre Museum and the Sorbonne University.

"The UAE has also become a familiar and natural destination for the French people as more than 25,000 of its citizens chose the UAE as the destination for French ambition.'' Macron noted that ambition is at the core of the two countries' ties, as it is based on confidence and excellence, pointing to the tremendous success of the economic partnership in energy, infrastructure, transport and new technologies, thanks to joint and mutual investments.

''The joint ambition of the two sides today is to strengthen and diversify these successes.''

The French president hailed the signing of a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement across energy and renewable energy to help combat climate change.

He wished the UAE success in hosting the global climate change conference Cop28 in Dubai next year, praised its work on reaching green goals set by the Paris Agreement and welcomed co-operation in space exploration.

The banquet was attended by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun, adviser for special affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoon bin Mohammed, executive director of Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment; Shamma Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President; Zaki Nusseibeh, cultural adviser to the UAE President; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, deputy secretary general of the Supreme National Security Council; Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and member of the Executive Council; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, adviser at the Presidential Court; and Hend Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to France.

Updated: July 20, 2022, 7:13 AM
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