The United Arab Emirates and France have revealed plans to sign an accord that will guarantee diesel supplies to the European country.
According to reports, Paris looks to diversify its hydrocarbons supplies amid the Ukraine war. The deal coincides with the upcoming visit of UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to Paris, the first visit by a UAE leader since 1991.
President Emmanuel Macron has forged a good relationship with Sheikh Al-Nahyan with investments flowing between both countries, most recently with France sealing its largest-ever overseas sale of the Rafale warplane. “This is a strong and symbolic gesture,” the French presidency official said, describing the visit.
France and other European countries are looking to diversify their sources of energy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Russia cut gas supplies to Europe.
The two countries would also agree on a global, strategic energy partnership to identify common projects in sectors such as hydrogen, renewable and nuclear energy in their respective countries and elsewhere, the official said, adding a climate fund would also be established. A new Franco-Emirati business council would also be launched and headed up by TotalEnergies Chief Executive Office, Mr. Patrick Pouyanne.
Sheikh Al-Nahyan’s diplomatic adviser, Mr. Anwar Gargash, told reporters that Abu Dhabi wanted to deepen its economic and cultural ties with Paris focusing on technology and future energies, but that oil remained vital given the current geo-strategical outlook. “Our oil has traditionally been sold to the Far East. I think right now there is more interest in our oil in Europe, so other than that our interest with France is in sustainable and future energy,” Mr. Gargash said.
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