French President receives UAE top officials for talks
French President Jacques Chirac met in Paris Saturday with a senior delegation from the United Arab Emirates, which included Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, who is also Armed Forces Deputy Commander, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, Chief-of-Staff of the Federation of UAE forces, and Sheikh Nahayan bin Zayed, Commander of the National Guard.
The talks followed prior meetings with French Defense Minister Michele Aliot-Marie during which it was agreed upon to organize joint military exercises at the end of the year 2004 in the Gulf, according to KUNA news agency.
"The exercises will be the biggest ever and will include all the different forces from both countries," an Arab source said, according to the agency.
It added that during the meeting with Chirac, the two sides addressed a number of military contracts that are being discussed, Chirac's spokeswoman Catherine Colonna said.
According to KUNA, Colonna said that bilateral relations were "excellent" and stressed the "quality of the strategic partnership" between France and the UAE. (Albawaba.com)
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