By Arab News
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan arrived in France Monday for his first official visit outside the region since taking office in May.
Sheikh Mohamed was received at the Élysée Palace in an official ceremony to meet French President Emmanuel Macron and discuss joint action in the fields of “future energy, climate change and advanced technology” and efforts to bolster regional security and stability, the state news agency WAM earlier said.
During the two-day visit, both leaders will also discuss strengthening bilateral ties across culture, education and space, and review regional and international issues of common interest, WAM earlier reported.
Relations between the two countries date back to the establishment of the UAE Federation, as some French petroleum company, such as Total, were engaged in oil exploration in the UAE, and these relations were strengthened after the first visit of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan to France in 1976.
France is one of the main foreign investors in the UAE. French direct investments in the UAE amounted to 2.5 billion euros by the end of 2020, while the UAE ranks 35th in the list of foreign investors in France.
Sheikh Mohamed’s decision to make his first official visit to France “is a conscious one that acknowledges the historic ties between the two nations but also the potential for even greater cooperation and growth with France,” his diplomatic adviser Anwar Gargash said on Friday.
The visit is expected to conclude with “the announcement of guarantees given by the UAE on quantities of hydrocarbon supplies to France,” Macron’s office announced before the visit.
France is seeking “to diversify its sources of supply in the context of the conflict in Ukraine,” the Elysee source added, referring to EU sanctions on Russian oil.