UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was reminiscing about his first official visit to France in a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, a viral video shared on Thursday showed.
In the light-hearted video shared by the Cultural Adviser to the UAE President Zaki Nusseibeh, Sheikh Mohamed was seen showing Macron an image of his younger self alongside his father, the late Sheikh Zayed, during a visit to Paris in 1975.
In the photo, both 14-year-old Sheikh Mohamed and Nusseibeh were seen in a meeting with then-French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
When the UAE President pointed out that the suited boy was his younger self, Macron said, “come on, seriously?” while his wife Brigitte told Sheikh Mohamed “you have not changed,” to which he replied, “thank you ma’am.”
“In the same way that Sheikh Zayed made his first visit to France in ’75, it was the very first, His Highness also made his first state visit to France,” Nusseibeh was heard telling Macron in the video, adding in his Tweet that it “underlines the special status of France as a strategic ally of the UAE.”
The interaction took place during Sheikh Mohamed’s recent official trip to France between July 17-19, his first overseas state visit since being named President, following the death of the late UAE President Sheikh Khalifa in May.
The UAE leader described Macron on Twitter as a friend and his country as one of the Emirates’ closest allies.
“I was pleased to arrive in France, a close strategic ally of the UAE, and meet my friend President Emmanuel Macron,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter in Arabic, English, and French.
“Our countries enjoy longstanding partnerships across many fields. We look forward to further collaborations and strengthening ties towards a prosperous future.”
Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to the European country last week saw the signing of a wide range of agreements on topics such as space, education and climate change. The agreements were aimed at enhancing bilateral relations in various vital fields, WAM reported at the time.
During the visit the UAE and France also announced the launch of the UAE-France Business Council, which aims to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries in the fields of energy, transport and investment.