INTRODUCTION: The Supreme Military Commander of the United Arab Emirates joint armed forces, Sheikh Khalifa Ibn Zaid, has been on a four day official visit to France to discuss armaments.
INTRODUCTION: The Supreme Military Commander of the United Arab Emirates joint armed forces, Sheikh Khalifa Ibn Zaid, has been on a four day official visit to France to discuss armaments. He was accompanied by the commander-in-Chief of the UAE armed forces, General Awwad al Khalidi.
SYNOPSIS: On Friday (29 April), the final day of his visit, Sheikh Khalifa went to the Elysee Palace in the French capital, Paris, for a meeting with President Valery Giscard d'Estaing. The Sheikh, who is Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, one of the United Arab Emirates, was also accompanied by his brother Sheikh Khalifa's return home, Sheikh Sultan was due to fly on to West Germany for similar discussions there about military co-operation between the two nations.
Sheikh Khalifa's visit was at the invitation of the French Defence Minister, Yvon Bourges, following a visit to the United Arab Emirates by M. Bourges. After his meeting with the French president, Sheikh Khalifa told reporters that their talks centred around mutual relations, especially closer co-operation on military matters. He said he told President Giscard d'Estaing that the United Arab Emirates, which he called an 'indivisible part of the Arab world', greatly appreciated France's attitude towards the Arabs in the era following the late President Charles de Gaulle. Sheikh Khalifa said that as a result of his talks he was sure that France had an important part that France had an important part to play in Arab-European relations, especially in trying to get a settlement of the Palestinian issue. The United Arab Emirates, largely under British influence before their independence, receive substantial amounts of French arms and military equipment.