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    French President Macron to visit Emirates to mourn death of pro-West ruler

    Abstract:PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a trip to the United Arab Emirates to mourn the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and display his support for the ruling family, with whom France holds lucrative business and military ties.

      div classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodivpPARIS Reuters – French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a trip to the United Arab Emirates to mourn the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and display his support for the ruling family, with whom France holds lucrative business and military ties.p

      pMacron will travel to the UAE on Sunday, his administration said in a statement, to pay tribute to Khalifa, who died on Friday, and “express his support to his brother Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and the rest of the family, and the entire Emirian people”, pdivdivdiv classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodiv

      pKhalifa, UAE president since 2004, was a proWestern moderniser who had aligned the Gulf Arab state more closely with the West, but had rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2014. He was buried and funeral prayers were held on Friday.p

      pMajor oil producer UAE is seen by France as a strategic partner in the region, and business ties, which include the delivery of military equipment and energy infrastructure, have been reinforced under Macrons first presidential term. p

      pDuring a highprofile visit to Dubai in November, Macron displayed a good relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed, the countrys de facto leader, and business delegations from both states signed a series of major deals.p

      pThe UAE ordered 80 of Dassault Aviations Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters through an arms contract worth 17 billion euros 19.20 billion, which the French say will secure thousands of local jobs.p

      pFrench energy giants TotalEnergies and Engie also won billioneuro deals.p

      pParis has a permanent military base in the Emirati capital.p

      p

      pp Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Elizabeth Pineau Editing by Jan Harveyp

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