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French President arrives Abu Dhabi

posted on 16/01/2008: 684 views



French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday on a state visit to the UAE.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan led a party of top UAE officials to welcome President Sarkozy upon arrival.

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and a number of Sheikhs, ministers and senior civilian and military officials were also present at the airport to greet the French head of state.

Soon after arriving at the Mushref Palace, the French president accompanied by Sheikh Khalifa ascended the dais of honour where the national anthems of the UAE and France were played while the artillery fired 21 gun salute.

President Sarkozy then inspected a guard of honour and headed to the Palace's main reception lounge where he shook hands with a number of Sheikhs, ministers and high-ranking officials.

For his part, Sheikh Khalifa shook hands with members of delegation accompanying the French president which included Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Education Xavier Darcos, Minister of Defence Herve Morin, Minister of Culture and Communication Christine Albanel, Minister of Economy Christine Lagarde, French Ambassador in the UAE Patrice Paoli, and a number of members of French parliament and senior officials.

The UAE President then conferred the Zayed Order on his French counterpart as a gesture of honour and in recognition of the close UAE-France ties of cooperation and friendship. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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