Abu Dhabi: The UAE and France have reiterated their commitment to strengthening and enhancing bilateral cooperation and partnership across all fields in the coming years.
This came in a joint statement which was released on Thursday, on the occasion of the visit of the President of France to the UAE.
Below is the full text of the statement:
At the invitation of the government of the UAE, the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai on 8 and 9 November 2017 on the occasion of the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum.
During his visit, French President met with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The official opening ceremony of the museum, on November 8, after the signing of the intergovernmental Agreement of 6 March 2007, marked a special moment of celebration of the historic relationship of friendship and cooperation between France and the Emirates.
Beyond the strengthening of our cultural partnership, this visit is a major step in the affirmation of a common vision and will, to the benefit of the construction of a safer world. The fight against terrorism is in this regard a central issue and a shared priority.
The visit of the French President to the UAE has enabled the implementation of actions in the fields of education (I), culture and heritage (II), economy and investment (III), environment and fight against climate change (IV), space (V), security and fight against terrorism (VI)¡ and, In the field of defence cooperation (VII).
I. In the field of education:
- in order that Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University (PSUAD), which represents a major potential of outreach for both countries, can fully contribute, ten years after its creation, to the objectives set by the UAE in terms of development of education and knowledge, a new roadmap will be elaborated and adopted by the beginning of 2018.
- France and the UAE will work on the reintroduction of French language teaching in Emirati public schools, on its development in the private schools, as well as on the strengthening of teachers training.
- a cooperation agreement has been signed between the Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department in view of contributing to the training of the Emirati Judges.
- France and the UAE have announced that the construction works for the extension of the Lycée Théodore Monod on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi will begin soon.
II. In the field of culture and heritage:
- France and the UAE confirmed their contribution to the “ALIPH” fund created by the Abu Dhabi International Conference on the Protection of the Cultural Heritage in Danger, co-organized by the two countries on 2 December 2016. The French contribution amounts to 30 million dollars, on which 9 million have been disbursed. The Emirati contribution amounts to 15 million dollars, on which 4.5 million have been disbursed.
- the UAE has announced a 5 million euros donation to the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, which celebrates this year its thirtieth anniversary and plays an essential role in promoting the dialogue of cultures between the Arab world, France and Europe.
- an Agreement on Cultural Cooperation has been signed on 9 November between Mrs Françoise Nyssen, Minister of Culture, and Mrs Noora Al Kaabi, Minister for Culture and Knowledge Development, in order to strengthen the cultural dialogue between both countries through new initiatives.
III. In the field of economy and investment:
- a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on 9 November between Mubadala Investment Company, CDC International Capital and BpiFrance, in view of the creation of two new joint investment funds for a total amount of 1 billion euros, on which 500 million euros will be dedicated to the extension of the first Emirati-French joint investment fund created in 2014 for an amount of 300 million euros between CDC International Capital and Mubadala, and 500 million euros will be dedicated to of innovative projects in the fields of the technologies of information and communication, eco-technology and biotechnology.
- a French-Emirati business forum has been set up, under the co-presidency of Mr. Frederic Sanchez, President of MEDEF International on the French side and Mr. Majid Saïf Al Ghureir, President of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the Emirati side. It aims at fostering exchanges between French and Emirati companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises. The first meeting of the forum took place on November 9th, in Dubai.
- in the perspective of the participation of France to the Dubai World Expo, in 2020, the President of France Emmanuel Macron has announced that the theme chosen by France for the exhibition would be “mobility”. He assisted on November 9 with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to the signing of the France Participation contract to Expo 2020 Dubai by Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director general of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, and Mr. Erik Linquier, France’s Commissary General for Expo 2020 Dubai.
IV. In the field of the environment and the fight against climate change:
- the UAE confirmed their participation to the Summit on Climate to be held in Paris on 12 December 2017. It also confirmed its intention to join the International Solar Alliance, launched on the basis of a Franco-Indian initiative on the occasion of COP21. France and the UAE will develop joint projects in the field of renewable energies. Finally, both countries highlighted the fundamental role of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which headquarters are located in Abu Dhabi, in the framework of the fight against climate change, particularly in the implementation of de-carbonization strategies.
V. In the field of space cooperation:
- France and the UAE have signed a declaration of interest for the creation of a Global Climate Observatory, in the perspective of the World Climate Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017]. The two countries will develop the cooperation initiated in the field of space, in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2015 between the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) and as a follow-up to the contacts established by the CNES with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
VI. In the field of security and the fight against terrorism:
- The fight against terrorism is a common priority in the framework of the strategic partnership between France and the UAE. The two countries will continue the work undertaken in the framework of the “Alliance” working group on combating transnational organized crime, launched in February 2017, and will strengthen their cooperation in the fight against radicalization and extremism. Finally, the UAEwill participate in the international conference on the fight against the financing of terrorism organized by France in 2018.
VII. In the field of defence cooperation:
- As part of its development strategy for the Naval Forces of the UAE, the acquisition of two multi-mission “GOWIND Combat”-type corvettes was confirmed by the UAE. The ships will be built by the French high-tech company, Naval Group in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB). The collaboration also includes an option for the UAE to commission two additional vessels from Naval Group.
In conclusion, the UAE and France emphasized the importance to further strengthen and enhance bilateral cooperation and partnership across all fields in the coming years.