It is perhaps not surprising Bertrand and Sarkozy didn't come together, as the debonnaire Mr. Delanoe is tipped as a likely Socialist candidate to run against Mr. Sarkozy for the next Presidential Election, and they do not get on with each other very well at all.
His visit will be seen by many as connected to his build-up to run for the French Presidency in 2012.
Bertrand, pictured here at last year's Paris Gay Pride parade, is (to quote the UK Times newspaper) the first senior french Politian to openly declare his homosexuality, which he did on a TV show in 1998 before his election.
The rather dashing Mr. Bertrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris
Photo Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen, Wiki commons
He has also done a pretty fine job of running Paris, being re-elected soundly last year, and someone who has worked hard to improve the livibility of Paris. The beach he had built on the river Seine being especially popular.
He is on a short tour of the region, having gone on to the UAE on his way back to Europe, but I would expect that a visit to homophobic bigots Bahrain will not be on the cards.
However, Mr. Delanoe has long had very close ties with Oman, especially since becoming Mayor in 2001, and clearly has a strong affection for the Sultanate and tremendous respect for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
He met HH Fahd, and did a round of the great and good. I must say I was surprised that the Oman News Agency did not report him meeting with His Majesty.
Oman also shares informal family ties with France, as several senior Cabinet Ministers are married to French wives.
I must say it was tremendous to see Mr Delanoe receive such a welcome here in Oman, and it serves to demonstrate why Oman is more sophisticated, open-minded and mature than the other GCC states.
Now, if only he could convince the Muscat Municipality to hold a Gay Pride parade here in Muscat...
Fahd, Paris Mayor discuss ways to boost cooperation
ONA Sunday, February 22, 2009 12:01:07 AM Oman Time
MUSCAT — His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, deputy prime minister for the Council of Ministers, received here yesterday Bertrand Delanoe, mayor of Paris, who is currently on an official visit to the Sultanate.
Sayyid Fahd welcomed the guest and the delegation accompanying him, reviewed the march of the growing good relations between the two friendly countries and horizons of future cooperation, which were established on mutual trust.
During the meeting, the conversations were focused on relevant means to support and promote cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and the French republic in a number of spheres. Current issues at the international arena were also reviewed during the meeting.
The guest expressed his delight and that of his accompanying delegation to visit the Sultanate whose leadership is widely respected by the international community for the growth achieved at the domestic level and for its leading role with regard to its external relations, thanks to the wise vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
He underlined his country’s interest to enhance the strong relations with the Sultanate, which was crowned with the latest visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy to the Sultanate and its positive outcome in achieving interest of the two friendly countries.
l Sayyid Al Muatassim bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of state and governor of Muscat, also received in his office Bertrand Delanoe and his accompanying delegation.
During the meeting, the Paris mayor expressed his admiration of the economic development and construction boom witnessed by the Sultanate in general and Muscat governorate in particular. He hailed the pioneering role persuaded by the Sultanate’s government under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said in pushing forward the development wheel in the country and establishing cooperation and friendship relations with other countries.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged cordial conversation on the existing relations between the Sultanate and the French republic, as well as the tourism, historic and cultural potentials of Muscat governorate. The meeting was also attended by Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrazi.