UAE-France strengthen bilateral ties with 12th strategic dialogue session

During the meeting, Abu Dhabi and Paris endorsed a 2020-2030 roadmap for the next decade.
Thursday 04/06/2020
UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Abu Dhabi, last October. (AFP)
UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Abu Dhabi, last October. (AFP)

ABU DHABI--Emirati-French ties were bolstered June 3 following a virtual UAE-France Strategic Dialogue session that discussed a roadmap for the two countries’ partnership over the next decade.

The high-level meeting, co-chaired by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and Francois Delattre, secretary-general of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, was attended by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimy and Minister of State and CEO of ADNOC Sultan Al Jaber.

The delegations also included ambassadors from both countries, as well as chairpersons, undersecretaries and director-generals from key entities representing priority sectors.

During the meeting, the UAE and France endorsed a 2020-2030 roadmap for the next decade that was hailed as “strategic” and “valuable.”

Reflecting on joint achievements made over the past decade, such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and the 2009 Joint Defense Agreement, the two countries expressed a desire to strengthen bilateral relations and mutual developments by setting out further goals and joint initiatives.

The high-level meeting also involved discussions on key sectors of bilateral cooperation, such as economy, trade and investment, oil and gas, nuclear and renewable energy, education, culture, health, space and security.

There was also a focus on Emirati-French joint efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and coordinate respective post-COVID-19 policies. Both countries agreed to enhance their partnership in the health sector through scientific, medical and pharmaceutical cooperation.

French and Emirati delegations also reviewed the progress of the “UAE-France Partnership for Sustainable Development,” following a letter of intent signed last October in Abu Dhabi by UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Other key areas of cooperation that were discussed included  technology, food security and continued efforts to enhance bilateral exchange and cooperation in advanced sciences, research and development and human capital.

The UAE and France agreed to make artificial intelligence a strategic component of their bilateral partnership, following a statement of intent entitled “A Vision for a Digital 21st Century” signed in February 2019.

In an effort to support human capital, the two countries also agreed to strengthen ties in the education sector, welcoming Abu Dhabi’s decision to launch a coding school in partnership with Ecole 42, the world-renowned French coding school.

The Strategic Dialogue included a number of subcommittee updates led by senior representatives of both countries, who provided recent updates on key sectors of bilateral cooperation.

Issues of regional and international significance were also addressed, with the two countries reaffirming their commitment to global peace, security and development.

The UAE and France also vowed to coordinate to prevent tensions and allow for the resolution of crises in the Middle East, expressing a shared interest in the inclusive and economic development of countries in Africa and the Middle East.

The UAE-France Strategic Dialogue is an annual meeting that aims to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, identify opportunities for potential partnership and coordination and facilitate ongoing collaboration on individual projects and initiatives.