UAE and France sign military cooperation agreement

Defence ministries reinforce ties

Florence Parly, French Defence Minister, speaks to media on the sidelines of 15th Manama Dialogue, a regional security summit organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in the Bahraini capital Manama, on November 23, 2019.  / AFP / Mazen Mahdi
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Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, the UAE's Minister of State for Defence Affairs, met Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces on Sunday in Abu Dhabi to discuss increased military cooperation between the two countries.

The two ministries also signed a new deal on the sidelines of a 10th anniversary celebration of the original bilateral defence agreement between the UAE and France. The new document provides for an "exchange of liaison officers" to assist in communications.

Mr Al Bowardi noted that the agreement reflects the keenness of the defence ministry to reinforce its ties with its partners, WAM news agency reported.  
France is also the main proponent of a European-led maritime force project to ensure the safety of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz after a number of tanker attacks earlier this year. Iran has denied being the source of attacks, although it has been held responsible for them by the US. The UAE has called for de-escalation and dialogue.

Quoted by Reuters, Ms Parly said: "We hope … to contribute to the safest possible navigation in a disputed area where there have already been a number of serious incidents."

Over the weekend, Ms Parly said Paris would send Saudi Arabia defence material to deal with low-level attacks after Riyadh asked for help following the September attack on the kingdom's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh also imputed to Iran. Tehran denied any involvement.