In traditional dress, Mohamed ben Zayed al-Nahyan, known as MBZ, went up the red carpet at midday in the courtyard of the Elysée before being greeted effusively by his French counterpart and his wife Brigitte.
The two leaders spoke over lunch before meeting in the evening for a State dinner in the majestic setting of the Grand Trianon in Versailles in the presence of a hundred guests.
As tradition dictates, Mr. Macron presented MBZ with the insignia of the Grand Cross of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, and presented him as a gift with a 1535 edition of German geographer Lorenz Fries’s map of the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf.
This visit has already resulted in a “global strategic partnership agreement on energy cooperation”, signed by the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and his colleague Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister of Energy Transition, with their counterpart, Sultan Al-Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies of the United Arab Emirates.
“The objective of this partnership is to identify joint investment projects in France, the United Arab Emirates or elsewhere in the world in the fields of hydrogen, renewable energies or even nuclear energy”, said the government said in a statement.
“This agreement will make it possible, in the current uncertain energy context, to create a stable long-term framework for this cooperation, to pave the way for new industrial contracts and to identify future joint investment projects”, according to the government. , which also mentions “the possibility of creating a bilateral fund for the financing of green projects”.
Arrived on Sunday, MBZ is making his first trip abroad to Paris since he succeeded his deceased half-brother in May as president of the Emirates, a rich oil country in the Gulf which notably includes Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
This decision “highlights the historical ties between the two countries but also the potential for further cooperation” between them, said MBZ’s diplomatic adviser, Anwar Gargash.
The visit should be marked by “the announcement of Emirati guarantees concerning the quantities of hydrocarbons (diesel only) supplied to France”, which “is seeking to diversify its sources of supply in the context of the conflict in Ukraine”, according to the ‘Elysium.
With this in mind, a “global agreement between TotalEnergies and ADNOC for cooperation in the field of energy supply” was to be signed, as well as an agreement between Technip Energies and NPCC, for the creation of a joint venture “NT Energies”. , in order to “develop energy transition projects in the United Arab Emirates and in third countries”, according to the government press release.
Dominated by hydrocarbons, Emirati exports to France reached an all-time high of 1.5 billion euros in 2019, a large part of which was refined petroleum products, but the Emirates do not currently supply diesel to the country.
The discussions between the two presidents were also to focus on their “joint efforts” to strengthen “stability and security” in the Middle East, in particular on the Iranian nuclear issue, according to the Elysee.
Franco-Emirati relations have deepened considerably in recent years, culminating in December with a record contract worth 14 billion euros for 80 Rafale fighter jets. France also has a military base in Abu Dhabi.
During his state visit, MBZ must notably go to the Senate, the National Assembly and Matignon.