Monday 19 April 2021 - 7:55:32 am

France fights extremism alongside French Muslims, appreciates UAE's support: Minister

ABU DHABI, 25th November, 2020 (WAM) -- France is fighting against radical extremism and separatism, alongside the Muslims of France, who are a core part of the French Republic, a French minister has said, adding that "In France, there is only one community: the national community".

Franck Riester, French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, in a statement during his visit to the UAE, said, "Through the recent attacks, it is France, its values and principles – which constitute the history and essence of our Republic – that have been targeted. We will never give in".

Riester was in the UAE as part of a regional tour aiming at pursuing the efforts of explanation and appeasement initiated by the President of the Republic and by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in response to the campaign directed against France last weeks, said a press release issued by the French Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The Minister Delegate commended the support of the UAE in this regard. "Together with its partners of all beliefs or religions, France fights obscurantism, fanaticism and violent extremism. I want to take this opportunity to warmly thank our UAE partners for their key support in these troubled times, as our two countries share the same determination to put an end to separatism and terrorism".

During his visit to the UAE on Tuesday and Wednesday, Riester met with many high-level Emirati officials both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in order to strengthen the bilateral economic relationship, to follow up on joint projects and to explore new areas of cooperation.

''France and the UAE are maintaining a close and continuous dialogue on a wide range of regional and international issues. France and the UAE can take pride in what they have accomplished together so far. Our partnership has always been driven by a long term vision.

"This is why our two countries endorsed, last June, a bilateral roadmap for the new decade of their strategic partnership. France is actively working on the post-COVID era and the challenges to come. The UAE is a key partner in this ambition and I am glad to see that many innovative achievements are ahead of us," Riester added.

In Abu Dhabi, he met with Ahmad El Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of tech and finance. The minister took the opportunity of his visit to ADGM to discuss with French companies that have established subsidiaries in the financial centre.

In Dubai, Riester met with Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises. They discussed bilateral trade opportunities and business cooperation in sectors such as artificial intelligence, energy and aviation.

The French Minister Delegate also held fruitful discussions with Matar Al Tayer, Director General of RTA. "Transport is a key sector of cooperation between France and its UAE partners. Our two countries are determined to bring together their talents to work on efficient, safe and sustainable transportation means," said Riester.

He deeply thanked H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports and of the Emirates Group, for his action encouraging UAE-France friendship and the shared economic development of two countries.

The French Minister also paid a visit to the Expo 2020 site where he was briefed by Omar Shehadeh, Chief International Participants Officer. On this occasion, Riester said: "I look forward to visiting Dubai Expo next year. We all do.

"I am very impressed by the commitment of the UAE authorities to make it one of the main international events of the post COVID-19 era. I am confident that France will make the best of this opportunity to showcase French know-how and talents in all fields."

With nearly US$ 5.7 billion in bilateral trade, the UAE is the second largest trading partner and the third supplier of France in the MENA region, said the embassy's press release.

France is also one of the largest foreign investors in the UAE. The UAE is home to more than 600 subsidiaries of French companies operating in all major sectors of the Emirati economy and they employ more than 30,000 people, added the press release.


WAM/Tariq alfaham/Binsal AbdulKader