UAE-France relations are expected to get a big boost with the UAE President's visit to Paris on Monday. Image Credit: WAM

Paris: A number of French politicians have applauded President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s choice of France as the destination of his first official overseas trip, stating that they are grateful, appreciative, and respectful of his decision.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Jean-Paul Mattei, President of the center-right political group at the French National Assembly, said: “We are thankful to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for selecting France as the first country of his official tour since he assumed leadership of the UAE. We got to know Sheikh Mohamed on his prior travels to France when he was the Crown Prince, and he is a valued guest to us,”.

“France and the UAE have unique and successful relations, and we have a strong and solid collaboration with our Emirati friends that spans many areas, including economics, defense, culture, heritage conservation, and climate. However, we see the cultural sector as the cornerstone of our illustrious relationships.

“French culture is renowned around the world and is recognizable to the people of the UAE, and we, as Frenchmen, learn from the Emirati culture. It teaches us a lot. The particular nature of UAE-French ties stems from the mutual respect they are based on. Our relationship is founded on mutual respect, and our nations have established the necessary infrastructure to make investments that include facilities for businesses and businesspeople from both nations. Therefore, the UAE is seen as a trustworthy strategic partner by France," according to Mattei.

For his part, Castor Jean Victor, a member of the French Parliament, praised the state visit by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, describing it as historic.

"The last state visit paid by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan to France was in 1991 and created a great momentum in France, and today the same momentum is carried by the visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed. France and the UAE share unique relations. The UAE has a strong influence on international decisions, and we are proud of the strides made by the French-Emirati partnership in all fields,” he said.

He emphasised that the strategic, wealthy, and powerful nature of the French-Emirati partnership is what makes it unique. He also expressed his belief that with the united efforts of the two nations’ leaders, this partnership can continue to grow.

The streets of the French capital, Paris, were decorated with UAE flags ahead of the state visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.