Gulf states see Macron victory as positive development

The UAE congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the presidential election in France.

 Emmanuel Macron (photo credit: REUTERS)
Emmanuel Macron
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The UAE has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his reelection in France. The Gulf states could benefit from renewed French interest in the region. The UAE signed a historic deal to purchase 80 Rafale warplanes made in France last year. France is also close to Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and the UAE in many security discussions.

“President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a cable of congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his reelection win as President of France,” Khaleej Times media in the Gulf reported. “Sheikh Khalifa wished Macron continued success in achieving more progress and prosperity for the people of France, stressing the UAE’s keenness to continue developing relations between the two countries in various fields for the common good and interest of their peoples.”

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, sent two similar messages of congratulations to Macron,” the report said.

The UAE was “one of the French defense industry’s biggest customers,” France 24 reported last year.

The UAE also agreed to buy 12 Caracal military transport helicopters, the French presidency said in a statement at the time, according to reports. “This is an outcome of the strategic partnership between the two countries, consolidating their capacity to act together for their autonomy and security,” the statement said.

 A WOMAN walks past official campaign posters of French presidential election runoff candidates Marine Le Pen and incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris on Tuesday.  (credit: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS) A WOMAN walks past official campaign posters of French presidential election runoff candidates Marine Le Pen and incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris on Tuesday. (credit: GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS)

Al Ain News website in the Gulf also praised the Macron victory.

“The Arab countries – especially the Gulf states – are looking forward to more cooperation with Paris in the next stage, as President Macron was and still attaches great importance to his country’s partnership with the Arab Gulf states, specifically Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which he visited on his last Arab tour months ago,” the report said.

France shares interests with the UAE and Saudi Arabia and their view of the region, the report said, adding that France also cares about the UAE’s concerns about the Iran nuclear talks.

“The general feature of French foreign policy toward the region converges in many aspects with the policy of Saudi Arabia and the UAE calling for lasting dialogue and peace, combating terrorism in all its forms, and drying up the sources of financing for militias and extremist organizations,” Al Ain reported.

Macron also attended a summit in Baghdad last year, showing his commitment. This comes as some countries fear the US is drawing down in the region.

France was also praised for caring about the Yemen crisis and its stance in the UN Security Council.

“As for Lebanon, France’s keenness to overcome its current stifling political and economic crisis is a common concern with Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and the rest of the Arab countries,” the report said. “The French are coordinating their future steps toward Beirut in light of the continuous Arab support for the people of Lebanon, who are suffering.

“In sum, Macron is the choice of the French at this stage, and his policy parameters are not strange or ambiguous, and dealing with him will be easier, as he is aware of the importance of the Arab Gulf states, the centrality of his countries and their impact on various international decisions.”