Mohamed bin Zayed, French President discuss stronger strategic relations, regional developments

PARIS, 10th February 2015 (WAM) — His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and President Francois Hollande of France, on Tuesday discussed ways of bolstering strategic relations between their two friendly countries.

The talks took place at the Elysee Palace where President Hollande received H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed who is in Paris on a one-day working visit.

His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi conveyed to the French President the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his best wishes for further progress and prosperity for France and its people.

During the meeting which was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Aisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, the two sides discussed the friendship and relations and ways to promote them in light of the strong their strong ties and common interests in various spheres, and the political, economic and cultural in particular.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed affirmed that the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is keenly interested in maintaining strong and solid relations with France as well as in coordination with it on matters of common interest.

Affirming the UAE’s solidarity with France in the wake of the terrorist attacks, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed renewed the UAE’s commitment to its role as an effective partner against terrorism and extremism in the region.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi also expressed his confidence that the region will see an era of prosperity after countering the dangers of extremism and terrorism.

Looking into the unique existing relations between the UAE and France, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the French president expressed their desire for further growth and development of the economic, investment, cultural and civilisational relations, and noted that they look forward to opening the cultural projects including the Louvre-Abu Dhabi Museum.

Welcoming Total SA’s winning of a share of Abu Dhabi oil concession, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed noted that he looks forward to more strategic joint projects between the UAE and France.

He also expressed his delight at the level of joint action with France and emphasised that it is important to bolster and strengthen it through more consultation meetings in order to promote the unique relations to wider avenues.

The two sides touched upon the overall developments in the region, in Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Iraq in particular, where the meeting was dominated by congruence of visions of the political issues of the region.

The discussions also took in Egypt’s regional role and the importance of its recovery and success for the stability and security of the region, as well as the importance of Al Azhar in countering the extremist plans of terrorist groups.

In this respect, His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi expressed his appreciation for France’s stances and support for Egypt.

He also expressed his deep confidence in leadership, wisdom and long experience of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, and that these traits will constitute an agent of moderation and a factor of stability in the region.

He also stressed the importance of baking Jordan with all possible means and capabilities in order to enable it to continue to play its pioneering role in bolstering the security and stability of the region.

For his part, the French expressed his support for the vision of His Highness the Crown Prince in this respect.

Expressing his deep thanks for the UAE’s stance for France, President Hollande described the UAE as a loyal and strong ally.

He also expressed his thanks for giving Total SA a role in Abu Dhabi’s energy sector and noted that he looks forward for big, vital and strategic joint projects between the two friendly countries.

President Hollande expressed his delight at meeting with H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and at discussing with him matters and issues of mutual concern, and the joint cooperation on promoting the bilateral relations in particular.

The French president requested H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to convey his greetings and best wishes for good health and well-being for President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and for further growth and progress for the UAE and its friendly people.

During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged views on a the current developments and regional and international issues of mutual concern for the two counties.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), Staff Major General Eisa bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, Madhed Hareb Al Khaiili, Ambassador of the UAE to France, Mohammed Mubaral Al Mazrouei, Undersecretary of the Court of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince.

The meeting was also attended by French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Ambassador to the UAE, Michel Miraillet, , Secretary-General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Christian Masset, and a number of other French officials.