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UAE, France back global drive on Lebanon : Elysee
UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his French host Jacques Chirac.hold summit talks at Elysee Palace on July 21.

Paris (WAM) —The UAE and France have shown firm desire to pool international efforts seeking to reach a ceasefire in Lebanon and ensure that the current situation in the region will not drift to a deadlock, a French presidential spokesman said.

'' The UAE and France share identical views on the situation in Lebanon and voice deep concern over the continuous military escalation and logic of aggression and oppression and the fall of civilian victims, destruction of infrastructure and threat to security in the region,'' spokesman of the French Elysee Palace, Jerom Bonnafaon, stated after talks held July 21 between UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his French host Jacques Chirac.

He added that the two Presidents had agreed that Paris and Abu Dhabi keep in contact to ensure safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to Lebanon.

He explained that Chirac briefed his guest during a launcheon banquet of his reading and analysis of the situation in the region as well as efforts and initiatives made by Paris at the recent G8 summit and the UN Security Council.He added that Chirac also emphasised the need for unifying the international community so as to pile pressure on the fighting parties.

On Iran,the Elysee spokesman stated that President Chirac updated his UAE counterpart on the latest developments in regard to the Iranian nuclear dossier and the six nation's resolution to report to the UN Security Council in the absence of the Iranian response and its continuous enrichment of uranium.

He said that Chirac had congratulated Sheikh Khalifa on the staggering progress achieved by the UAE in all walks of life and notably in education. He announced that the French Minister of Culture Donnedieu de Vabres would pay a visit to the UAE in September for talks on building a museum in the UAE in cooperation with the Louvre Museum and other French national museums.

Defence cooperation was also touched during the Khalifa- Chirac talks. The Elysee spokesman also unveiled that French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie would travel to Abu Dhabi tomorrow (Saturday) to explore new avenues of joint defence and security cooperation.

According to him, Chirac was pleased to have met with his UAE counterpart and expressed his sincere desire to further bolster longstanding bonds of friendship and cooperation in the political, economic and educational levels based on and motivated by his close personal ties with Sheikh Khalifa.

He noted that Chirac expressed his profound thanks to Sheikh Khalifa for supporting the opening of French schools in the UAE






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