ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 02nd Jun, 2020) Since the founding of the UAE in 1971, its relations with France have witnessed considerable momentum, culminating in the signing of many cooperation and partnership agreements, and making France the UAE’s first strategic partner in Europe.
The relations between the two countries advanced further with the arrival of the late President Jacques Chirac to power in 1995. At that time, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan considered President Jacques Chirac, a friend and reliable ally, and both countries sought to find alternative and peaceful solutions to crises and conflicts in the region.
President Chirac is one of the most popular presidents in the history of France and a street was named after him leading to the Louvre Museum, which had a good impact on French public opinion.
In July 2018, an agreement was signed to teach the French language in public schools in the UAE starting in September 2018. In 2017, an agreement was signed to train Emirati judges at the French National school for the Judiciary in Paris.
In the area of health, the cooperation between the two countries is based on their gradual recognition of many medical specialties. Many Emirati doctors also participate in training sessions and specialist placements at French hospitals.
The cultural partnership between the UAE and France is the most developed, as it witnessed, in November 2018, the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is the first international museum in the Arab world. Earlier, in 2006, the agreement on the establishment of the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi was signed.
Among the initiatives of the UAE in the cultural field, was its contribution to the restoration of the Imperial Theatre at the historic Palace of Fontainebleau (Château de Fontainebleau), near Paris, at an amount of €10 million. The theatre was named after President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Emirati-French political relations are considered to be at a high level of coordination and cooperation. This is embodied in the constant contacts between the leadership of the two countries and their mutual visits. The first visit of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to the middle East after his election was to the UAE.
The strategic dialogue between the UAE and the French Republic was established in 2007, and it is an annual dialogue aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and strengthening them to reach a strategic level.