French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a visit to UAE next Wednesday and Thursday to inaugurate Louvre Abu Dhabi, which was established by a ten-year French-Emirati partnership.
The visit will be a chance for Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, French President Emmanuel Macron and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to review Paris and Abu Dhabi positions from regional crises, especially the Qatari and Yemeni ones.
Macron will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen and Secretary of State to the Ministry of Economy and Finance Benjamin Griveauxas well as a delegation of businessmen and CEOs of active firms in the UAE or firms that wish to involve in the Emirati market.
Élysée Palace departments and relevant ministries are preparing for “later visits” of Macron to the Gulf in the coming weeks, knowing that the French president intends to visit Iran in the beginning of 2018.
Paris sees that ties with UAE are characterized by “confidence”, “differentiation” and “diversity”, as expressed by French presidential sources that announced the first visit of Macron to the Gulf.
On the level of bilateral ties, Paris and Abu Dhabi share a defense accord and France has a military presence in UAE through its air-base as well as ground forces in Dhafra and Bahriya.
Despite the importance of economic cooperation and joint projects, political files will be strongly present in parties’ talks, primarily the Qatari crisis. In this context, French sources said that Macron is involved in finding resolutions for the crisis, noting that there are some positive indicators that the crisis is on its way toward a relief.
In addition to the Gulf crisis, terrorism will be one of the basic topics, given that Abu Dhabi-Paris cooperation is ongoing and intensive. Also, Paris is preparing for a conference on funding terrorism, which is expected to be held in the first three months of next year.