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President Sheikh Mohamed tells Macron of 1975 Paris visit with Sheikh Zayed

Footage shared by Zaki Nusseibeh, the cultural adviser to the UAE President, shows Sheikh Mohamed reflecting on visit as a teenager

President Sheikh Mohamed followed in his father’s footsteps by embarking on his first state visit to France this week.

Sheikh Mohamed shared warm memories of UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed’s first presidential tour of France in 1975, with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during his landmark visit.


Footage of warm conversation between the leaders was shared on Twitter on Thursday by Zaki Nusseibeh, the cultural adviser to the UAE President.

He said it underpinned the “special status of France as a strategic ally of the UAE”.

Sheikh Mohamed is seen holding a phone displaying a picture of Sheikh Zayed’s 1975 meeting with the French president at the time, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, in which both himself and Mr Nusseibeh are present.

Sheikh Mohamed, who was only 14 at the time, is smartly dressed in a suit, looking on as his father greets the French president during a key meeting in the formative years of the Emirates.

Long-standing diplomat Mr Nusseibeh is positioned on the right of the picture.

“That’s my dad … and that’s Zaki, and that’s me,” Sheikh Mohamed says, as the camera zooms in on a young, fresh-faced Sheikh Mohamed.

“Come on,” Mr Macron is heard to remark during the light-hearted talk, as his wife Brigitte tells Sheikh Mohamed “he hasn’t changed”.

Sheikh Mohamed thanks Ms Macron for her compliment.

Mr Nusseibeh highlights during the chat how Sheikh Mohamed’s trip to Paris marked his first state visit, as that engagement 47 years ago did for Sheikh Zayed.

Mr Macron tells the diplomat he was present for both, as Mr Nusseibeh hails the latest visit as a “great, historic moment for us”.

The touching conversation serves to highlight the long-standing ties between France and UAE, as well as the strong friendship between Mr Macron and Sheikh Mohamed.

Sheikh Mohamed concluded his state visit to Paris on Tuesday, thanking Mr Macron as they issued a joint statement calling for action on pressing global issues.

The head of state departed Orly Airport on Tuesday afternoon after an engagement at the Arc de Triomphe and meetings with French leaders.

A series of talks and the signing of deals brought to an end a successful inaugural state visit that made headlines at home and abroad.

UAE Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed’s first presidential tour of France in 1975, with a young Sheikh Mohamed watching on. Photo: Zaki Nusseibeh

On the final day of his state visit, Sheikh Mohamed toured several Paris Landmarks, laying a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

At Matignon, the prime minister’s residence, Sheikh Mohamed met French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to discuss food security, investment and the economy, among other topics.

During a banquet held on Monday to honour Sheikh Mohamed’s visit, Mr Macron spoke of the significance of an enduring partnership based on “loyalty and reliability” and hailed Sheikh Mohamed’s key role in addressing international challenges.

“Through your new presidential duties, you will continue your efforts to make the UAE a strong, stable, diversified and growing economy and an influential member of the international arena in addressing global and regional challenges,” he said.

President Sheikh Mohamed visits Paris – in pictures

The President, Sheikh Mohamed, leaves France after his official state visit. Photo: Presidential Court

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