French astronaut and pavilion ambassador hails impact of Expo 2020 Dubai

Ambassador for the French Pavilion - praised Expo 2020 Dubai, saying it offered countries a chance to collaborate on projects such as space travel and to tackle global issues such as climate change. The long-distance call was part of the celebrations for the special Expo National Day for France.

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DUBAI: The Expo 2020 Dubai is a meeting of minds from around the globe – but at the French Pavilion they took this one step further and held a 15-minute phone call with an astronaut on the International Space Station.

Speaking from the International Space Station (ISS) Thomas Pesquet – who is also an ambassador for the french Pavilion – praised Expo 2020 Dubai, saying it offered countries a chance to collaborate on projects such as space travel and to tackle global issues such as climate change.

The long-distance call was part of the celebrations for the special Expo national day for France – Each exhibiting nation will have its own “national day” throughout the six-month-duration of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Pesquet hailed the “Lightspeed Inspiration” theme of the pavilion and its message of progress, during his conversation with the French delegation, that included foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who were visiting the France pavilion at the Al-Wasl Plaza Expo site.

“Global issues require global solutions and countries engagements,” he said, before adding that he hoped to visit the Expo 2020 Dubai site once his ISS mission is complete.

He added that the upcoming Glasgow Climate Change (COP26) conference was the next opportunity to renew commitments to tackling the issue.

Pesquet also took the opportunity to congratulate the UAE on its “Hope” Mars probe, adding that he frequently met with his Emirati colleagues currently in training in Houston.

“Space is a cooperation terrain, a terrain bigger than any nation around the world,” he said. “We need to combine our resources to achieve exceptional/outstanding results, which is what we’re doing at the International Space Station and what the United Arab Emirates are also doing, with us and on an individual level,” he added.

He also highlighted the importance of cooperation between countries in this sector, saying France, UAE and China among others — with the European Space Agency as a common denominator — were encouraging this type of cooperation.

“The tradition of European and French diplomacy with its international element is what I’m try to add and share through my role today (at the Expo), and what France is trying to bring on an international level,” he added.

Similarly, he Japan Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 officially celebrated its grand opening on Friday and will be open to visitors for the entirety of the exhibition until March 31, 2022.

INOUE Manabu, Deputy Director-General for World Expo 2025, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry greeted the guests, while NAKAMURA Tomiyasu, Commissioner General of the Japanese Section, Expo 2020 Dubai, declared the opening of the pavilion.

“The coming economic relationship with Japan and the UAE has a great potential as a testbed for new business, in addition to the existing sectors such as energy and gateway to other Middle Eastern Markets,” NAKAJIMA Akihiko, Ambassador of Japan to the UAE, said at the ceremony.

“The theme of Japan Pavilion, ‘Where ideas meet,’ aligns with the future vision of the UAE, which I would describe as ‘intellectual relaying trade.”

The ceremony also welcomed SEKIGUCHI Noboru, Consul-General of Japan in Dubai, ICHINOKI Manatsu, Deputy Secretary General, Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition. At the celebration, guests toured the innovative pavilion, observed interactive demonstrations and learned about Japanese culture, heritage, and the latest technology features. Expertly trained team at the pavilion who focus on the latest technology trends and hospitality are prepared to provide customer service to all visitors.

Under the theme ‘Where ideas meet,’ the pavilion will demonstrate how diverse encounters can create new ideas and lead us to join toward a better future.

The pavilion has also launched two websites to provide an engaging digital experience to a worldwide audience. One of them, JUNKAN, designed to share visitors’ voices on issues and solution ideas, is co-created together with Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition. The virtual pavilion offers viewers the ideas that can be experienced at Japan Pavilion.

Japan Pavilion also features Kaiten sushi chain Sushiro’s first foray into the Middle East – offering traditional Japanese ingredients and techniques for a truly innovative culinary experience. All halal items are specially developed for this event. Other Japan’s favorite items are waiting for guests

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