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UAE backs France operations in Sahel region

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting via video-conference with leaders of the G5 Sahel as they attend a two-day summit in N'Djamena, at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, on February 15, 2021 [LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting via video-conference with leaders of the G5 Sahel as they attend a two-day summit in N'Djamena, at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris, on February 15, 2021 [LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

United Arab Emirates has begun its logistical flights to support the France-led international alliance's efforts in "combating terrorism along the African Sahel region," the Emirates' Ministry of Defence announced yesterday.

"The first flight departed Abu Dhabi in the presence of the ministry's Commander of Joint Operations at Saleh Mohammad Saleh Al-Ameri, and French Ambassador to the UAE, Xavier Chatel," the ministry said in a statement.

Official Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted Al-Ameri as saying that the UAE was "keen to help ensure security and stability in the Sahel region."

On his part, Chatel hailed what he described as the UAE's "support to the efforts of the international community and France to bring back stability to the Sahel region."

"The UAE Armed Forces has several flights scheduled to transport humanitarian aid, given its extensive regional and international humanitarian experience," Al-Ameri pointed out.

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