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Mon 14 Feb 2011 01:14 PM

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French PM calls for dialogue at launch of Abu Dhabi's Sorbonne

Francois Fillon says there is no better place for research than the Middle East

French PM calls for dialogue at launch of Abu Dhabi's Sorbonne
PM SPEAK: French Prime Minister Francois Fillon speaks during the inauguration of the new premises of La Sorbonne-Abu Dhabi, the first francophone university in the Gulf, which he described as place of dialogue and sharing, on Feb13 (AFP/Getty Images)
French PM calls for dialogue at launch of Abu Dhabi's Sorbonne
The inauguration ceremony of a campus at the new Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in the Emirati capital took place on February 13, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has inaugurated
University of Paris Sorbonne's Abu Dhabi campus with a call for better dialogue
between the West and the Middle East.

Speaking at the official launch of the Reem Island-based
university, Fillon said the campus would be a place for sharing.

"There are few places that such a dialogue could take
root as well as here ... It is a place where we learn how one civilisation can
feed the development of another," Fillon said in comments quoted by AFP.

There does not exist "a better place for research than
the Middle East, the birthplace of civilisations, for historians, the
birthplace of the first (legal) code for lawyers, of algebra, for
mathematicians," he said.

The university began classes at its Abu Dhabi branch in
2009. The campus is now home to more than 600 students, with the capacity to
accommodate 2,000.

For pictures from the launch of the University of Paris
Sorbonne’s Abu Dhabi campus, click here

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