UAE president to visit France next week for first official visit outside region
Sheikh Mohammed will meet French President Emmanuel Macron and discuss joint action in the fields of "future energy, climate change and advanced technology" and efforts to bolster regional security and stability, the state news agency WAM said.
Paris has close economic and political ties with Abu Dhabi and Macron has forged a good relationship with Sheikh Mohammed, who had already been leading the UAE for years as de facto ruler. France has a permanent military base in the UAE.
The two countries signed a series of major deals last year, including an arms contract worth $19 billion, during a visit by Macron to the Gulf state. French energy giants TotalEnergies and Engie also won billion-euro deals.
TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said on Wednesday that France is talking to Abu Dhabi about importing fuel and diesel for the coming winter season in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has impacted Russian energy supplies to Europe.