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Abdullah bin Zayed opens 3rd Annual International Maritime Counter-Piracy Conference

posted on 12/09/2013: 4391 views

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, has declared that the UAE stands with and supports all the efforts and objectives of the Federal Government of Somalia and backs the Somali people in their legitimate quest for peace and prosperity.

His Highness added that during May this year, the UAE pledged USD 50 million for developmental projects in Somalia with confidence that this will contribute to providing a decent livelihood for Somali brothers.

The UAE's Foreign Minister made these comments yesterday during his welcome speech at the opening of the two-day " 3rd Annual International Maritime Counter-Piracy Conference" in Dubai with the participation of more than 500 participants representing 50 countries.

At the beginning of his speech, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed participants to the conference in Dubai, and conveyed to all attendees the greetings of the leadership, government and people of the UAE and also expressed a warm welcome to the Somali President and his accompanying entourage.

Continuing his speech, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah declared, "We are holding this third conference with our strategic partners, DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company, and with the contribution of the public and private sectors, based on the great success of the two previous conferences.

"Today and tomorrow, we will work on discussing ways to boost and strengthen the response of the international community to combat maritime piracy under the title: 'Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building' as the theme for this year 's conference", he elaborated.

Sheikh Abdullah added, "Despite the efforts being exerted by the international community to combat piracy on the Somali coast, the UAE still believes that maritime piracy, especially in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean, needs more serious global concern and we are convinced that success in the fight against maritime piracy will be the result of unifying the efforts of the international community for capacity building in the region, addressing its roots in Somalia and other similar environments." His Highness Sheikh Abdullah pointed out that the third anti-piracy conference comes at a vital time for Somalia, adding that the United Arab Emirates is sharing the vision of the Somali government to restore the security situation in the country so, ensure better standards of living for all its citizens and achieve governance for territorial waters management, besides ensuring the safety and security of navigational movements to contribute to law enforcement on land and at sea.

Sheikh Abdullah renewed the UAE's commitment to providing continuous support to the Government of Somalia and assistance in helping to achieve its vision, explaining that during the Second London Conference on Somalia, which was held last May, the UAE pledged to provide USD 50,000,000 to support the State of Somalia through three main points: enhancing security capabilities, strengthening political cooperation, and humanitarian and development assistance As part of the activation and application of this aid, Sheikh Abdullah took the opportunity to announce the UAE Government's intention to open an embassy in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE is ready to provide support for the Somali people in their quest to achieve peace and stability in the country, and as such, the UAE supports the agreement reached recently in Addis Ababa, which aims to establish an interim administration in Juba province under the wise leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, saying that such cooperation would lead to more social unity for the community in Somalia.

Sheikh Abdullah pointed out that the UAE also stands ready to provide support to Somalia by contributing to development at the economic and social levels. The total development and humanitarian assistance to Somalia provided by the UAE so far has reached USD 22,000,000 and a large proportion of this amount has been allocated for the provision of food aid and drinking water supply, which contributes to alleviating the suffering of the Somali people.

Sheikh Abdullah added that the UAE is also keen to seek out opportunities of mutual cooperation between the two countries in economic projects, which include the areas of renewable energy, as a means to stimulate and develop sustainable energy in Somalia.

The Foreign Minister said that the work on consolidating stability and prosperity in Somalia is an urgent need in order to combat piracy, saying, "We believe that Somalia's progress towards stability is one of the main means of ensuring the elimination of piracy in the region.

His Highness pointed out that the development of Somalia's ability to combat maritime piracy in its territorial waters will work to strengthen regional control, and will also contribute to the country being able to face other challenges, such as poaching, human trafficking and the smuggling of narcotics and other difficulties which weaken the Somali economy and disrupt social development.

His Highness said that the conference would help to intensify international efforts to build a regional capacity to eliminate piracy. He urged the conference attendees to send a clear message to the leaders of pirate groups and their supporters that, "We will not be tolerant with maritime piracy and will continue to provide adequate support for our partners to build their capacity and control their coasts and monitor their waters." His Highness concluded by saying that he was looking forward to continuing to work in this valuable initiative. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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