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Abdullah bin Zayed: UAE keen to strengthen ties with Ukraine

posted on 09/10/2012: 1918 views

Although relatively new, relations between the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine are growing stronger in economic, commercial, military, industrial and scientific fields, Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks while speaking at a joint press conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday with Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, following the closing session of the 2nd UAE-Ukraine Joint Ministerial committee meetings.

"The joint committee meeting explored various opportunities for cooperation. The meeting itself was an opportunity to enhance bilateral relations and to exchange views on current international developments," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah said the Ukrainian Minister visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi to get acquainted with the projects being developed there. He also spoke about his visit to Kiev to discuss ways of strengthening ties and to identify opportunities available to Emirati business sectors.

For his part, Hryshchenko said he was pleased to be in the UAE. He praised the progress of relations between the two countries, adding that the joint committee meetings represented an ideal platform to discuss means to boost cooperation, particularly in the fields of agriculture and aerospace.

He also underlined the visit to be made by the Ukrainian President to the UAE.

Asked about the situation in Syria, Hryshchenko said Ukraine was concerned with the developments there and urged the international community to shoulder its duty of finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

He commended UAE's stance on the Syria and the statements made by Sheikh Abdullah which indicated UAE's keenness to address the issue.

Sheikh Abdullah said the current situation in Syria was a result of ignoring to carefully study and heed the statements issued by the Arab League which sought to provide the best political solutions and to involve the international community and the Security Council.

"As Arabs, we were unable to deliver a tangible solution or to rally the international community to do so," he added.

"It is important that the international community should realize its huge responsibility of maintaining peace and stopping operations by the Syrian regime in civilian areas." Sheikh Abdullah said the current situation will have dire consequences on the whole region and will further deepen the sectarian rift in Syria. He added that both the UAE and Ukraine agree on the need to immediately end fighting which the Syrian regime is responsible for.

On the Turkish Foreign Minister's initiative, Sheikh Abdullah said a similar solution was proposed by the Arab League a year ago.

"We prefer political solution and the Arab League would be pleased to see a political solution and will provide all facilities for it. This, however, doesn't mean we stop supporting the Syrian opposition or work through the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

He also noted that the conflict in Syria has begun to spill over into neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Asked about the people detained in the UAE pending investigation, Sheikh Abdullah said the Muslim Brotherhood objects to the idea of national and sovereign state and therefore, it was no surprise that their international organisation is seeking to undermine countries' sovereignty and laws.

"We have to communicate with different countries for cooperation and discussion. There are mistakes being made by individuals and organisations to undermine nations." Sheikh Abdullah said that nobody objects to any activity undertaken by individuals who respect nations' sovereignty and laws, "but there will be a problem for those nations if a certain organisations that think they have the capacity to breach sovereignty." "The UAE and other countries of the world do not tolerate organisations that see themselves as dominant and above the system. As nations, we respect each other and try to provide the best services to our respective citizens but we do not accept that other parties are trying to exploit our openness."

Earlier, the UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his Ukrainian counterpart Kostiantyn Hryschenko, co-chaired the second meeting of the UAE-Ukraine Joint Ministerial Committee in the presence of top UAE officials.

In his welcome address, Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the UAE's firm determination to expand joint political cooperation, calling for greater concerted coordination between Abu Dhabi and Kiev in issues of mutual concern at international forums.

He said the two-way trade exchange had reached US$ 500 million in 2011 and invited the Ukrainian government to take advantage of the UAE economic competitive edges like its strategic location in the Middle East, its state-of-the art infrastructure, trade and investment opportunities on offer in hope the UAE would become Ukraine's number one trade partner in the Middle East.

Sheikh Abdullah said the Abu Dhabi meeting provides a fitting platform to explore more investment opportunities in new sectors for further strengthening bilateral relations in areas of economy, trade and investment.

The second meeting, the UAE foreign minister indicated, had discussed a broad range of issues concerning joint cooperation in diverse sectors as investment, trade, economy, small and medium scale enterprises, industry, health, oil and gas, energy, renewable energy, standardisation and meteorology, higher education, defence, culture, justice, space, sports, customs and innovation.

Sheikh Abdullah unveiled that the UAE and Ukraine will sign during the upcoming visit of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to the UAE five agreements on air services, joint protection for classified information, and defence cooperation and memorandum of understanding on security cooperation, draft treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition of criminals.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his hope Ukraine would back the UAE bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. He said Kiev would host the third meeting of the joint committee.

For his turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko, said the two sides explored mechanism of boosting bilateral relations.

He referred to the meeting of the Ukrainian president with foreign ambassador accredited to Ukraine in which he stressed the importance of furthering bonds with the UAE.

The Ukrainian foreign minister said that the powerful business delegation accompanying him to the meeting had presented packages of promising investment projects in agriculture, shipbuilding and aviation industries.

Ukraine, he noted, had seen steady economic growth and created feasible business opportunities to attract Emirati investors since the first meeting of the joint committee.

The minister said he was impressed with what he had seen at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and expressed his country's interest to benefit from the advanced technology in renewable energy and to encourage Ukrainian students to join the vital specialisation.

He added that around 100,000 Ukrainians visit the UAE every year for trade and tourism. He invited Emiratis to visit Ukraine and enjoy its cultural and tourist attractions.

At the end of the meeting, the two minister signed minutes of the second meeting of the joint ministerial committee. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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