President Sheikh Mohamed holds talks with Emmanuel Macron in Paris

The two leaders reviewed efforts to further bolster ties between their nations

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President Sheikh Mohamed arrived in Paris on Thursday evening for high-level talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

The two leaders arrived for a working dinner reception at the Elysee Palace.

They discussed the long-standing friendship and well-established ties between their two countries, as well as other issues of common concern.

“The UAE and France share a strong, historic partnership and today in Paris, I joined President Emmanuel Macron to explore opportunities for further collaboration across various sectors,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening.

“Together, we remain committed to promoting a stable and prosperous future for all.”

Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Macron reviewed the strategic partnership between their nations and explore ways to expand links across all fields, state news agency Wam reported.

Mr Macron welcomed Sheikh Mohamed, expressing his happiness at a further meeting in France.

Sheikh Mohamed extended his thanks and appreciation to Mr Macron for the warm reception.

The two leaders affirmed their commitment to strengthening historic ties between the two countries.

They discussed ways to further collaborate in shared priority areas, including culture, the environment, climate change, space and renewable energy.

Their talks also covered other fields central to both countries’ sustainable development ambitions, including investment, the economy, food security and advanced technology.

The presidents discussed regional and international developments, with both sides stressing the importance of promoting peace, stability and co-operation between nations.

Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Macron also discussed the coming Cop28 climate conference, which will be hosted by the UAE later this year.

Both leaders reiterated their shared belief in the importance and potential of joint action.

They stated that pursuing collaborative measures to confront climate change is an immediate priority for both countries.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, Adviser for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court, also attended the meeting.

Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for National Security, was also in attendance, as well as Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and Hend Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to France.

This is Sheikh Mohamed's second trip to France in 12 months after he made his first state visit there in July, following his election as President two months earlier.

“This visit will be marked by a planned meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, in order to consolidate the long-standing strategic partnership between the UAE and France, and to strengthen bilateral co-operation in different sectors,” Hend Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to France, tweeted on Wednesday evening.

Ministers hail state visit

Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said the meeting was in line with the growing ties between the countries.

He underlined the importance of talks between the leaders as the UAE prepares to host the crucial Cop28 climate summit later this year.

“The two countries have been successful in developing aspects of co-operation in various development sectors of mutual interest, including political, economic, commercial, cultural and educational co-operation,” said Mr Al Mazrouei.

“The visit's importance stems from the fact that it comes in 2023, a year dedicated to sustainability, and during the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Cop28), through which the UAE will spare no efforts to mobilise collective efforts to build a sustainable and prosperous world while providing natural resources for all.”

Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said the UAE-French alliance has further opportunity for growth.

“This privileged relation between the two sides provides a fertile ground for continued growth and development that has been evolving steadily since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1971 until now,” he said.

He also reflected on the strong economic partnerships already in place, pointing out that more than 600 French businesses operated in the Emirates, employing more than 30,000 people.

Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said the two countries can play a key role in protecting the planet.

“Through the visit, we look forward to more co-operation with France, especially on issues of common interest, including global climate action,” she said.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, affirmed that the UAE and France enjoy close trade and investment relations.

He pointed to the steady rise in trade between the countries in recent years.

Non-oil trade reached more than Dh29.4 billion ($8bn) by the end of last year, up from Dh25.2 billion in 2021, according to data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

Building on firm foundations

Last year's trip included a series of talks, the signing of two major energy agreements as well as agreements on space and climate change, as the allies strengthened their long-standing friendship.

The ties between the two countries date back to the foundation of the UAE, when French companies such as Total worked on oil exploration in the Emirates.

Bilateral relations were quickly established and were further enhanced by the visit of UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to France in 1975.

Regular high-level official visits and meetings followed, which increased co-operation further.

The UAE-France Strategic Dialogue, established in 2008, aimed to identify opportunities and partnerships in areas such as the economy, trade, investment, culture, oil, gas, nuclear and renewable energy, education, culture, health, space and security.

In June 2020, they adopted an ambitious 10-year bilateral road map for the UAE-France strategic partnership.

During the 14th session of the UAE-France Strategic Dialogue held in Abu Dhabi in June, they discussed enhancing co-operation in 17 vital sectors.

Dozens of agreements have since been signed, with a total of 13 signed during Mr Macron's visit to the UAE in December 2021.

President Sheikh Mohamed meets France's Emmanuel Macron in Paris

President Sheikh Mohamed meets France's Emmanuel Macron in Paris
Updated: May 12, 2023, 11:32 AM