UAE a major actor in space scene: CNES

Abu Dhabi / WAM

Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, the French space agency, said that the UAE has become “one of the major actors in the space scene,” as he witnessed the opening of the agency’s representative office in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
CNES, one of the oldest institutional space agencies in the world, has become the first foreign space agency to have its office in the UAE, and it will be represented by Donato Giorgi.
Jean-Yves Le Gall said that France would like to further bolster collaboration with the UAE in the space sector, and opening of this office is the result of a long strategic partnership between the two countries.
“The UAE space programme in a few years has made the country one of the major actors in the space scene,” he said, adding, “in the UAE, you will find a lot of dynamism, vision and interesting space, this is why we decided to enter in to a very special partnership through opening of a representative office of CNES in Abu Dhabi.
“We have lot of links with the UAE, and I am sure, we are going to develop them more in the coming years,” Jean-Yves, who is also co-chair of the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA), and President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), in an exclusive interview at the residence of the French Ambassador to the UAE, Ludovic Pouille.
CNES is responsible for proposing and implementing space policy in France. It is involved in all aspects of space including Ariane (rocket family), sciences, observation, telecommunications and defence.
“Investment in the space sector has multilateral benefits including creation of satellite applications, improvement of telecommunications’ services and technology. In fact, investment in space helps build the young generation in the space field, and develop the future prospects,” Jean-Yves, who also holds the rank of Officer in both the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit in France, said.
“It is important for us to present here in Abu Dhabi, because many important things are happening, and the opening of a representative office in the UAE, is the result of the long strategic partnership with the UAE Space Agency, and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC,” Jean-Yves added.
The announcement was made in the presence of Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency. The Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed Al Ahbabi, was also present.
In November 2017, the UAE and France signed an agreement to develop a joint hyperspectral imaging satellite to support efforts to tackle climate change. The agreement was signed during French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the UAE.
Jean-Yves said that France will build on this cooperation with the UAE through training and student exchange programme, “we have a very strong partnership with the UAE and space is one the element of this robust partnership,” he stressed.

He also added that France will attend the 71st International Astronautical Congress, IAC, which the UAE is hosting in 2020.

The UAE was recently elected vice-president of the International Astronautical Federation, IAF, following a vote in Bremen, Germany.

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