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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

'The universe is the limit': French space agency opens UAE office

It marks the first time a foreign space agency has opened a representative office in the country

The French space agency has opened an office in Abu Dhabi. UAE Space Agency
The French space agency has opened an office in Abu Dhabi. UAE Space Agency

The French ambassador to the UAE has said the 'universe is the limit' for the growing partnership between the two nations - after the country's space agency opened an office in Abu Dhabi.

Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) has become the first foreign space agency to set up a representation office in the UAE.

The "milestone" move was made during a visit to the capital by CNES president, Jean-Yves Gall.

“It is a major milestone in our space co-operation and a clear sign of the new status of the UAE earned on the space international stage,” said Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to the UAE.

“Between France and the UAE, I used to say that the sky is the limit. Now, I can say: the universe is the limit.”

Mr Le Gall spoke of the flourishing friendship between the two nations.

“To lead this endeavour to invent the future of space, we need to exchange ideas and try to see things differently,” he said.

“The historic partnership between France and the UAE is getting stronger and richer every day.”

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The announcement was made in the presence of Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, in the Résidence de France in Abu Dhabi.

France was the first country to sign a memorandum of understanding with the UAE space agency in April 2015, a year after the body was created.

The partnership allows both countries to exchange skills, launch common projects, develop new missions, foster the emergence of a new generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics specialists and nurture space-based applications.

A crucial project is the plan to jointly work towards an Earth observation satellite that will contribute to tackling climate change.

The announcement, which comes during space week, follows on from the UAE Space Agency signing a partnership with Nasa outling plans for the two organisations to work together in a number of fields related to space exploration.

The Implementing Arrangement (IA) reaffirms a framework agreement signed between the two bodies in June 2016, which set out partnerships in human and robotic exploration of the surface of the moon, research and flight activities in low-Earth orbit and research projects.