Sheikh Mohamed concludes France visit with joint statement on Ukraine, energy and climate

The UAE President and French President Emmanuel Macron seek action on global challenges

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President Sheikh Mohamed concluded his state visit to Paris on Tuesday, thanking Emmanuel Macron as they issued a joint statement calling for action on pressing global issues.

The head of state departed Orly airport on Tuesday afternoon after an engagement at the Arc de Triomphe and meetings with French leaders.

A series of talks and the signing of deals brought to an end a successful inaugural state visit that made headlines at home and abroad.

In energy, Adnoc and Total Energies signed an agreement to explore opportunities in gas growth, carbon capture and storage, among other areas.

In space and climate change, there were agreements to work together on breakthroughs in both areas, particularly ahead of Cop27 in Egypt in November and Cop28 in the UAE in late-2023.

On the final day of his state visit, Sheikh Mohamed toured several Paris landmarks, laying a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe's tomb for an Unknown Soldier.

At Matignon, the prime minister's residence, Sheikh Mohamed met Elisabeth Borne to discuss food security, investment and the economy, among other topics.

In their closing joint statement, Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Macron called for action to tackle crises that affect global stability.

The following text is from the UAE's state news agency Wam:

The crisis in Ukraine

Both leaders expressed deep concern regarding war in Ukraine, its terrible impact on civilians, the humanitarian situation, and its effects on commodity markets worldwide.

They underscored the urgent need to intensify diplomatic efforts to reach a solution to the conflict, and Sheikh Mohamed commended President Macron’s continuing efforts in that regard.

Energy and Food Security

Both leaders discussed a range of regional and global opportunities and challenges, and agreed to work together to find ways to mitigate the impact of these challenges on each other and globally.

They agreed to establish a France-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Energy Partnership, representing a major step in fostering energy security and affordability. They also welcomed the agreement between TotalEnergies and Adnoc on fuel provision, with the aim of increasing the security of fuel supply in France.

Of equal importance, the UAE also emphasised its support for global action on food security, and to work with France to find ways to mitigate ongoing pressure on global supply chains.

The UAE announced its support for the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (Farm) initiative, specifically on open, transparent, and resilient food trade, as well as the provision of timely and accurate information to support the Agriculture Market Information System (AMIS).

Economy, Investment, and Industry

Building on the significant investment partnership agreed in December 2021, the two leaders share an ambition to further expand the vibrant economic partnership between the two countries. They expressed interest in identifying and facilitating areas of co-operation, where interests and capabilities converge.

The two sides praised the recently launched UAE-France Business Council, with a view to further increase bilateral business opportunities for the benefit of both nations.

The two sides noted that the Council will serve as a tangible outlet to expand the already constructive co-operation that exists between the two countries’ business communities, and underlined their shared desire to convene the inaugural meeting of this grouping in the near future.

Climate Action

Both leaders noted that climate action represents an area of critical mutual concern, and emphasised common and ambitious goals in this important field. President Macron congratulated the UAE for the future hosting of Cop28 in 2023, and offered France’s full support, including through its expertise derived from Cop21. Both sides signed an agreement on Climate Action, which will enable France and the UAE to enhance their co-operation.

The French side congratulated UAE on the successful operation of its nuclear energy programme. Both sides confirmed the important role of nuclear energy in their countries’ efforts to decarbonise their energy sectors and their resolve to continue the strong co-operation in this field, including by sharing technical expertise, the provision of technology and nuclear fuel, as well as in the area of R&D.

The two sides also commended progress made in regard to the MoU on Decarbonised Hydrogen.

Additionally, concerning collaboration on marine research and development efforts, both parties agreed to work closely on the development of a marine research collaborative programme to promote the sustainable blue economy.

Health sector

Both leaders agreed on the importance of the health sector as a major domain for expansion in bilateral co-operation, reflecting a mutual priority area of French and Emirati development and expertise.

One example of successful collaboration is the Cardiovascular Diseases Prevention project between the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) (Iinternational).

Based on the signing of the MoU in December 2020, the project was implemented by a team of French experts, who helped achieve growth, sustainable development and global competitiveness, as well as exchange of information and know-how.

Both sides welcomed the signing of a MoU on Co-operation between the Institute Pasteur and the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, noting that such co-operation could produce mutually beneficial outcomes. Both sides also cited the potential of higher education co-operation that focused on developing healthcare expertise.

Education, Culture, and Space

Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of the UAE and France's landmark partnership agreements. Christopher Pike / The National

Both leaders recognised the importance of education, culture and science as embedded in the fabric of the bilateral relationship, underscoring the contributions of existing key projects, such as the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, and the efforts to expand co-operation in higher education, such as with Ecole 42, EM Normandie Business School, and ESCP Business School.

Both sides looked forward to forthcoming projects, such as gaming school Rubika, and encouraged further endeavours involving French higher education institutions in the UAE, as well as the expansion of French language teaching in UAE schools.

The leaders discussed the exploration of new chapters in cultural co-operation, following the successful partnership of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Recognising that the space sector is a key driver for the advancement of science and technology, the UAE and France signed multiple agreements related to earth observation, climate change initiatives, and lunar exploration to strengthen and deepen collaboration in this critical sector.

Peace and Stability

The two leaders recognised that their strategic partnership is a critical component in their collaborative and mutual efforts to act as a beacon for peace and stability in the region, and beyond.

As the founding members of the International Security Alliance since 2017, the UAE and France reaffirmed their commitment to combating radicalisation, extremism, and transnational crime by exchanging experiences and continuing joint operations with fellow member states.

The two leaders discussed prospects for promoting peace, dialogue and diplomacy across the region, and expressed hope that nuclear negotiations with Iran could lead to an agreement that would increase regional security.

Sheikh Mohamed commended the successful Baghdad Conference on Partnership and Cooperation, and President Macron underscored the benefits of the Abraham Accords, which contribute to peace and prosperity in the region through building bridges and cooperation. Both leaders stressed the importance of further fostering peace and prosperity.

Looking beyond the region, the two leaders emphasised the importance of multilateralism as a way to increase mutual understanding and trust on a global scale at a time when collective cooperation is most needed. President Macron commended the UAE’s role as non-permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council, and Sheikh Mohamed commended the achievements in multilateralism under the French Presidency of the European Union.

Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further expand and develop the historic co-operation between the two countries, to opening new domains across all areas, and to be an ever-more active force for peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Updated: July 20, 2022, 4:07 AM
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