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UAE, EU’s strategic ally, sets model in combating terrorism, says French Senator

UAE, EU’s strategic ally, sets model in combating terrorism, says French Senator
2 May 2024 11:02

MOHAMMAD GHAZAL (ABU DHABI)

The UAE’s strategic location and its continual maintenance of stability are key factors behind its status as a strategic partner in antiterrorism and security for the European Union (EU), and specifically for France, Member of the French Senate Nathalie Goulet explained in an interview with Aletihad.

Goulet referred to a report to the French Senate, presented in 1998, stating that the UAE would become the “Tiger of the Middle East”, with the Senator stating that “this is exactly what happened”.

  • UAE, EU’s strategic ally, sets model in combating terrorism, says French Senator
  • The UAE is the ‘Tiger of the Middle East’, says French Senator

 


“We have an excellent cooperation when it comes to anti-terrorism and security and defence cooperation between the UAE and France,” Senator Goulet said.

France has strong cooperation with the Government of the UAE as well, Goulet said. “This cooperation is very helpful as the situation in the area is not so easy with Iran, with the Red Sea, with Yemen,” Goulet said. “I think that we need this area of stability as a strong base for diplomacy, but also to be ready to act.”

The two countries also have what the Senator termed “excellent cooperation” in intelligence and military matters, in addition to trade and cultural issues.

The UAE has set an example of strong security strategy and antiterrorism cooperation, Goulet explained, commenting: “I think that probably most European countries should have followed the United Arab Emirates when it came to the coalition against Houthis for example.”

Goulet noted that at the time, many were against the operation in Yemen. “I think that with what happened now in the Red Sea, it is proof that the United Arab Emirates and the coalition were right to try to deal with the Houthis,” she said.

  • UAE, EU’s strategic ally, sets model in combating terrorism, says French Senator
    UAE, EU’s strategic ally, sets model in combating terrorism, says French Senator

With heightened tensions near the Red Sea affecting the flow of maritime trade, the Senator called on the world to listen to regional allies, “especially the UAE”.

Turning to governmental defence and security cooperation, Goulet remarked on the “strong” coordination present at the governmental level. She also noted that artificial intelligence presents an opportunity to strengthen collaboration between the two governments in the fight against terrorism. The Senator also noted that the UAE hosts the largest French community outside of France, totalling around 300,000, and highlighted the strong French business presence in the country.

Achievements in Financial Transparency

On February 23, 2024, the UAE was removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “grey list” after fulfilling all of 15 recommendations of its action plan, embodying the directives and aspirations of the UAE leadership to make the economy one of the strongest and fastest growing in the world. 
Senator Goulet commented on the UAE’s “very important” achievement in this regard, stating that the target to match international commitments is “already a big step”.

The Senator also noted that the UAE has an agreement with French financial intelligence unit “TracFa”, which she says helped the country successfully fulfil its action plan and subsequent withdraw from the FATF list.

“You know Rome didn’t build itself in one day. We need time….we have to work more on this issue,” she said, recommending that the UAE continue this cooperation with France, specifically in terms of money laundering and terrorism financing, areas which the Senator believes “we can do more”.

Working with TRENDS

Senator Goulet also noted her appreciation to collaborate with the UAE’s TRENDS Research and Advisory to combat the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood terorrist organisation.

Contextualising the issue within Europe, the Senator called for the organisation to be banned from France, and the whole of Europe.

“In universities, anti-Semitism has increased, I think by more than 320% in terms of anti-semitic acts in the last trimester, which is terrible. All that doesn’t come from scratch,” the Senator explained. “This thing is coming from a global network, which push youth through the social network, through some messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, or other platforms,” she said, adding that terrorist propaganda dispersed via social media platforms has the capacity to push people to act against their country’s best interests. “This is exactly the level of the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said.

“Maybe today, such cooperation with TRENDS is more needed than before, with such a think-tank to address such issues,” Goulet noted. The Senator also pointed out TRENDS’ “very interesting” and “really impressive” participation in the Paris International Bookfair two weeks ago, where the centre showcased translations, including French-language editions, of its Encylopedia of the Muslim Brotherhood along with 11 other books.

“I think that a lot of us, more and more of us, have now the conviction that this Muslim Brotherhood sect is very dangerous for the republic against secularism, is anti-Semitic, and will create a lot of trouble in our society, which is exactly the case now,” she remarked. “Muslim people have their place in France, and it’s their country,” Goulet said, adding that most of France’s sizeable Muslim population includes residents who were born inside the country. “But the Muslim Brotherhood are…hijacking the voices of the majority out there.”


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