UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised the strong, solid ties between the UAE and France during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Louvre Museum in the capital, Paris, yesterday.
Sheikh Abdullah and Fabius discussed the UAE-France strategic, distinguished ties and ways of advancing them within the context of bilateral friendship bonds.
The two sides emphasised their keenness to further strengthening these ties in cultural, social, educational, economic, and energy sectors so as to deliver aspirations and ambitions of the two friendly countries and their peoples.
The two ministers also exchanged views on the current regional and international developments and reviewed their joint action in cooperation with efforts being made by sisterly and friendly countries to realise security and stability in the region.
Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of cultural exchange between the UAE and France for promoting common similarities and extending bridges of communication between the two countries.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah said is a universal landmark cultural project which forms part of a holistic development strategy, certainly exemplifying the rock solid historic, friendship ties and close cooperation and partnership between the UAE and France in various vital fields.
In this context, the UAE foreign minister said the recent opening at Paris Louvre of the Birth of a Museum, the first international exhibition showcasing objects from the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi, was yet another important milestone in the UAE-France cultural and artistic cooperation. More than 160 masterpieces from the Louvre Abu Dhabi are on show from May 2 to June 28 at the Louvre in Paris.
The Birth of a Museum exhibition is intended as a preview of next year's opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the cultural district on Saadiyat Island which also hosts Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
Citing another signature achievement, Sheikh Abdullah said that the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theatre was opened at Chateau de Fontainebleau in Paris after seven years of restoration. The famous Imperial Theatre (The Napoleon III Theatre) was re-named by France after the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in recognition of his generous support to the restoration of the 18th century cultural landmark and of his support for culture and safeguarding heritage of the world.
Sheikh Abdullah expressed profound thanks and appreciation to the Government of France, led by President Francois Hollande, for re-naming the historic theatre after Sheikh Khalifa. He also thanked curators of the Louvre Museum, and officials at Agence France-Museums (AFM) and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) who have worked diligently to deliver this great achievement.
For his part, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, hailed the UAE-France ties as 'exemplary' in all domains.
Fabius lauded the UAE's significant care for saving memory of the world through gathering a rare, ancient collection at Louvre Abu Dhabi and described Abu Dhabi city as a melting pot and forum for cultures of the world and for dialogue between civilisations and cultures.
He expressed his pleasure at selecting the UAE as a cultural partner to France in the service of the world's humanitarian goals.