France to permanently station forces in Gulf (UAE)

France and the UAE have signed a deal allowing France to set up a permanent military base, the first in the Gulf for a Western power other than the US.

The deal allows for the stationing of up to 500 permanent military personnel in the UAE's largest emirate Abu Dhabi.

The two countries also signed a deal to develop peaceful nuclear energy during a visit by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The agreement on nuclear energy is the latest in a series of similar deals between France and Arab countries.

The Emirates' WAM news agency said that an agreement would "boost relations between the two friendly countries through military cooperation".

The agreement was inked by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan and French Defence Minister Herve Morin, WAM said.
Further details about the agreement were not immediately available.

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France has trained in or with the EAU since GW1 but this is a new step. I just hope there will still be enough ships in the French Navy to take advantage of this agreement once the new cuts that are expected this spring are announced....

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