Macron meets with the new president of the Emirates in Abu Dhabi

French President Emmanuel Macron and the new Head of State of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed ben Zayed Al-Nayane, affirmed this Sunday, May 15 their desire to strengthen the strategic partnership, already very advanced, between their two countries, at the opportunity for an interview in Abu Dhabi.

Emmanuel Macron in the Gulf, French “realpolitik” in action

Emmanuel Macron was the first Western leader to travel to Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Emirati president who died on Friday, and present his “sincere condolences to all his family and to the people” of the Emirates, according to the Elysée.

Arrived early in the morning, the French head of state, for whom it was the first trip of his second five-year term which began on Saturday, went to a palace in Abu Dhabi where he was welcomed by Mohammed ben Zayed Al-Nayane. , said “MBZ”new president and strong man of the country.

Strategic partners

Emmanuel Macron congratulated him “for his election” the day before in place of his half-brother and “expressed their determination to continue and develop all that they have undertaken together for the past five years”.

“The United Arab Emirates are a strategic partner of France, and the extent of our cooperation, in fields as varied as defence, culture and education, bears witness to this”said the presidency, reporting on the exchange.

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The two men then joined the “majlis”, the assembly that brings together in a huge hall of the palace the many members of the family of the deceased since his death at the age of 73. Although he met MBZ many times during his first term, Emmanuel Macron never spoke with Sheikh Khalifa, who had been reduced since a stroke in 2014.

Emmanuel Macron had traveled to the Emirates in December 2021, where he visited the Dubai World Expo and oversaw the signing of several contracts, including one for the supply of 80 Rafale fighter jets, a record order for the fighter aircraft entered service in 2004.

Consequences of the war in Ukraine

The two presidents also expressed “their concerns” regarding the war in Ukraine and its consequences, “particularly on energy and global food security”according to the entourage of the French president.

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Emmanuel Macron also had an interview with his Mauritanian counterpart, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, one of the many leaders present in Abu Dhabi to offer their condolences. The British Prime Minister, the Emir of Qatar or the King of Spain were notably expected this Sunday.

Emmanuel Macron was to return to Paris on Sunday evening, while the appointment of a new Prime Minister, followed by that of the government, is expected at the start of the week.

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