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Abdullah Bin Zayed hails Tunisia's stance supporting UAE in the issue of islands occupied by Iran

posted on 04/05/2012: 2136 views

Minister of Foreign Affairs HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan hailed yesterday, Tunisia's strong stance during the Arab League's last session supporting UAE in the issue of its three islands occupied by Iran.

In a press conference held by him at the Ministry in Abu Dhabi today along with Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdul Salam at the end of the sixth session of the UAE-Tunisia Joint Committee, Sheikh Abdullah said that the bond between UAE and Tunisia is based on good relations, distinctive mutual understanding and cooperation in various fields.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised that UAE attaches paramount importance to its fraternal relations with Tunisia.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the Committee's meeting comes at a transitional stage for the Tunisian Government, and it reflects UAE's sincere desire to tighten closer relations with the Republic and help maintain the political and economic stability there, supporting it to move forward in the process of political and economic reforms.

He congratulated the Tunisian people for their achievement of harmony and a political process, which looked difficult and painful. But Tunisia sent a message of hope to the brothers in the countries of the Arab Spring that there is a good path to promote national unity, he said.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his pride about the results of the meetings of the UAE -Tunisia Joint Committee.

"We desire for more cooperation during my next visit to Tunisia or the seventh session of the Committee's meetings to discuss the prospects of a new variety in the relations between the two countries", said Sheikh Abdullah.

He added: "At the Joint Committee meetings, we discussed cooperation in the field of scientific research and renewable energy between universities in the UAE and the University of Zaytuna in Tunisia. The meeting also discussed the development of certain agricultural programs in addition to cooperation in the environmental field.

He pointed out that the two countries also laid out a framework for cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and certain Tunisian authorities to guarantee a number of programs envisioned in Tunisia in the field of dams, roads, health and rural development.

For his part the Tunisian FM thanked Sheikh Abdullah for hosting the Joint Committee meetings in the framework of strengthening the relations between the two countries. He said the UAE and Tunisia enjoy distinguished fraternal ties, thanking the UAE for donating US$200 million for enhancing the health services in Tunisia.

"The new Tunisia is more open to the Arab and GCC states, especially the UAE. We have briefed Sheikh Abdullah on the situation in Tunisian and about the dominant reconciliation spirit there. Tunisia has overcome instability and now enjoys the security and political stability. We are aspiring to achieve future endeavours for development and building of the country", he added.

The Tunisian FM said the political discourse is unified in Tunisia and there is a consensus among the Tunisians on the Tunisian politics: non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. "We will not export the revolution abroad and do not wish except the best to our Arab brothers because the stability of Tunisia is the stability of the Arab countries".

On the recent visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Tunisia, Abdul Salam said the visit was in the context of programmed visits of the sister and friendly countries to Tunisia.

He added that the Tunisian economy is getting better as it witnesses stability amid investment atmosphere, and the development growth of 2.5 per cent.

The UAE and Tunisian FMs chaired the Joint Committee's sixth meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of senior officials and two envoys from both sides.

Sheikh Abdullah commended the efforts of Tunisian government and support to the UAE Relief Team at the Tunisian-Libyan borders during the Libyan Revolution.

He said the trade exchange between the countries had surged to US$158 million in 2011 compared to $152.2 million in 2010. The volume of UAE investments in Tunisia stands at about US$2.5 billion in addition to over 15 UAE Companies in Tunisia.

The UAE FM said the UAE economic delegation will visit Tunisia in May to explore new opportunities, stressing keenness of the UAE to support Tunisia. He thanked the Tunisian FM for meeting the representative of the UAE companies and economic agencies to overcome the hurdles that hamper their investments in Tunisia.

Sheikh Abdullah said the two sides discussed ways to bolster the bilateral relations, focusing on the trade, investment, cultural, energy, transport, telecommunications, oil, gas, business and consular affairs fields.

He stressed the importance of such meetings and activation of the work of joint committee and implementation of its resolutions.

The Tunisian FM lauded the wise policies of the UAE, which were outlined by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose course was followed by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

He hailed the progress being experienced by the UAE in all fields, citing the women empowerment as an example.

"Today's meeting is an opportunity to exchange views and coordinate regarding the Arab, regional and international issues of mutual interest, " Abdul Salam said, adding that as Tunisia follows closely the recent developments in the Gulf "it reiterates solidarity with the UAE in accordance with what had agreed upon in the last Arab League Summit. Tunisia also hails the UAE's adherence to the dialogue method to settle the crisis with Iran to ensure security and stability in the region based on the Islamic brotherhood principles and good neighbourhood." The Tunisian FM stressed his country support to just Palestinian cause and full support to the Palestinian people to recover their full rights and set up sovereign state on their territories based on the international legitimacy.

Regarding Syria, he said, Tunisia supports the Joint UN, Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan to resolve the Syrian standoff based on freedom and democracy and unity of Syria.

He hoped Iraq would continue dialogue with participation of all parties to preserve the unity and restore the stability and security.

Abdul Salam called on parties to resolve the Iranian nuclear file through dialogue, welcoming any initiative that boosts chances for reaching amicable negotiated settlement.

Sheikh Abdullah and Abdul Salam signed the minutes of the joint committee meeting. They also signed the Memo of Understanding (MoU) on the finance and technical areas, and another MoU on studying and funding of development projects in Tunisia as well as the third MoU on the education and scientific research and the fourth MoU on the health. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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