ABU DHABI // Defence cooperation was at the heart of discussions between Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who visited the UAE on Monday.
The leaders spoke on matters of common concern, including developments in the region and efforts by the UAE and France to achieve regional peace, stability and security.
Mr Le Drian last visited the UAE in March when he toured the Louvre Abu Dhabi and met Sheikh Mohammed at Al Shati Palace.
Military cooperation has always been central to the strategic relationship between the to countries and France is one of the UAE’s primary suppliers of military equipment.
The UAE is one of the top nations for global weapons imports, including high-tech defence systems.
A few years ago the UAE was also announced as France’s biggest arms buyer, with most of its spending going on aircraft from the US and France, followed by missiles and air defence systems.
France opened a permanent military base called “Peace Camp” in Abu Dhabi in 2009 at the UAE’s request, to protect shipping lines, fight piracy and provide energy security in the world oil supply route.