The UAE is a nation that has for long prized the principles of international harmony and accords, striving to make a difference to those in need where ever it can. And in that aim too, the UAE has a natural and long-standing partner in France. Together, the two nations have worked hand-in-hand and marched lockstep on any number of causes of missions around the world, bringing humanitarian aid and assistance to those who suffer through calamity, catastrophe or conflict.

The UAE too is a nation that is prepared to confront the evils of extremism and those who support terrorism in all of its forms across this region and beyond. And in France, the UAE has an ally that fully supports these missions, is prepared to tackle terrorism and extremism and confront these evildoers wherever necessary.

The leadership, government and people of the UAE have watched in recent years as vile terrorists have struck at French society — whether in shootings, bombings in Parisien streets, or the horrific and unimaginable truck attack on the promenade of Nice. And the UAE has stood by its ally, not just offering condolences but sharing support and intelligence and other aspects of this new warfare to bring these murderers to justice and shut down the support networks from which these extremists draw oxygen.

The fight against terrorism is a difficult one. It is a fight that is fought not conventionally on battlefields, but in the actions that are rarely seen, in the intelligence briefings, the shared assets and in the commitment of the international community to bring cowards and killers to justice. In France, the UAE has an international ally that sadly knows first-hand the horrors of this war, and in the UAE, France has an ally that will never bend nor cease to hunt down and root out extremists and terrorists who use the simplicity of Islam as a fire to scorch so many.

Whether it be through meetings at the highest levels of government, through cultural exchanges, the interaction of our people, our students studying at French universities and institutions, or through the trade and economic links between France and the UAE that bring peace and prosperity to so many, both nations stand together.

On Wednesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met a group of UAE students attending French universities and institutes during his tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris. It was a perfect opportunity to remind those young men and women of the close bilateral ties, using their specialisations to contribute to the special relationship between the UAE and France — and long may it last.