UAE - Several French politicians praised the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's choice of France as his first official foreign visit since being elected as the country's leader. They stressed that they are grateful, appreciative, and respectful of his decision.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will visit France on Monday, July 18, and French President Emmanuel Macron will host the UAE leader in Paris to discuss bilateral deals, according to Diplomatic Adviser Anwar Gargash.
In an interview with State News Agency-Wam, Jean-Paul Mattei, head of the Center Group in the French Parliament, said: "We are grateful to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for choosing France as the destination for his first official foreign visit since he assumed leadership of the UAE. Sheikh Mohamed is a dear guest to us, and we got to know him more during his previous visits to France when he was still Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince."
He added: "Our French-Emirati relations are distinguished and successful. We have a strong and solid partnership with our Emirati friends in all fields, including the economy, defence, culture, heritage protection and climate, but we consider culture the cornerstone of these distinguished relations."
Mattei noted that the French culture is universal and resonates widely with the Emirati people. "We as Frenchmen draw a lot of things from the Emirati culture," he said, adding that what distinguishes the UAE and France is that their relations are based on mutual respect, and they have succeeded in creating a balanced and constructive environmental exchange.
"Our relationship is based on respect for each party; our countries have laid the foundations for facilitating investments that include facilities for companies from both countries and for businessmen. We in France consider the UAE a reliable strategic partner in the region," he said.
Castor Jean Victor, a member of the French Parliament, also praised the state visit paid by Sheikh Mohamed to France, describing it as historic.
"The last state visit paid by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan to France was in 1991 and left a great momentum in France. And today, the same momentum is carried by the visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he said.
"The relations between France and the UAE are distinguished. The UAE is present in all fields and has a strong influence on international decisions, and we are proud of the strides made by the French-Emirati partnership in all fields."
And according to Victor, what distinguishes the French-Emirati partnership is that it is strategic, rich and strong.
"I think we can develop it more and more with the combined efforts of the leaders of the two countries," said the French member of parliament.
The streets of the French capital, Paris, have been decorated with the UAE flags ahead of Sheikh Mohamed's state visit to France Monday.
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