UAE Embassy in France hosts ‘Space Majlon’ to boost Emirati-Franco space tie

Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi participated in the 'Majlon' meeting, marking his first international visit after successfully concluding the 'Zayed Ambition 2' mission.
Photo credit: Sultan AlNeyadi/Twitter

In a bid to strengthen collaboration in strategic sectors of mutual interest, the UAE Embassy in the French Republic hosted a special edition of ‘Majlon,’ the quarterly meeting uniting French and Emirati decision-makers. Themed ‘Space Majlon,’ the gathering welcomed representatives from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), according to a report by WAM.

The meeting marked the first international appearance of Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, following the completion of ‘Zayed Ambition 2,’ the Arab world’s longest-ever space mission, alongside astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori.

Hend Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to France, said: “Through this space-themed edition of the Majlon series, we celebrate our rich history of cooperation across various fields and look forward to forging new frontiers together in sectors that shape the future.”

The event kicked off with opening statements by Al Otaiba, Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General of MBRSC, and Lionel Suchet, Deputy Director-General of the French CNES. They underscored the significance of expanding space collaboration between the UAE and France, with a shared goal of establishing an efficient international governance framework for exploring and preserving outer space.

Al-Marri added: “MBRSC is keen on emphasising the UAE’s commitment to advancing space science technologies. Our collaboration with France stands as a leading example of international cooperation in the field of space discovery and reflects our common pursuit of promoting knowledge and innovation.”

Following the opening remarks, a presentation on MBRSC’s history, milestones, and future plans was delivered, followed by a panel discussion on international space cooperation moderated by Saud Karmustaji, Director of Strategic Communications Department at MBRSC. Emirati astronauts Sultan AlNeyadi and Hazza Al Mansoori, along with Michel Tognini, former astronaut at CNES and the European Space Agency (ESA), participated in the discussion.

During the panel, the astronauts shared insights from their space missions, emphasising the vital role of space-sector research in addressing global challenges such as climate change and health. Each astronaut presented a unique perspective, reflecting on lessons learned and discoveries made during their missions, and discussed how these findings contribute to a better understanding of ongoing challenges on Earth.

The seventh edition of ‘Majlon’ served as a platform for Emirati and French decision-makers to discuss pivotal topics including innovation, interfaith dialogue, and energy.

As part of the MBRSC team’s schedule, they visited the Marymount International School, conducted presentations, and engaged in a Q&A session with students. The delegation also visited the Institute of Polytechnic Science and Aeronautics (IPSA), holding presentations and discussions aimed at fostering young people’s interest in space and science.

The high-level meetings held by the delegation aimed to further enhance Emirati-Franco space cooperation, reinforcing the shared commitment to advancing this critical field for the benefit of humanity.