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Beckett hails UAE-UK economic partnership

posted on 22/03/2007: 706 views

British Foreign Secretary has lauded the progress of her country's relations with the UAE which she described as "Britain's major economic partner in the region, and among the top ten worldwide".

Speaking at a press conference at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi yesterday, Secretary Margret Beckett expressed hope that the current visit to Abu Dhabi, her first, would help consolidate bilateral cooperation.

Beckett said she will proceed tomorrow to Qatar, a current Security Council member, for talks with Qatari officials on a number of regional and security council-related issues.

The UK Foreign Secretary said she had communicated to the UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Security Council's approach to Iran's nuclear dossier. The Security Council, she said, was in favour of encouraging Iran to come to the negotiation table with international partners.

"The Security Council's approach to this matter is supported not only by the UK, but also by China, Russia, the US, as well as the EU partners, notably France and Germany," she said.

On the Mideast peace process, she said her country had long backed that process, noting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had for several years been calling for revival of the peace process and restoration of peace and stability to the region.

Beckett called upon the Palestinian national unity government to demonstrate that it was serious about delivering its programme, particularly with respect to negotiations with Israel.

Describing the situation in Iraq as tragic, the Foreign Secretary said: "We are working with the Iraqi Government to overcome all difficulties. We call upon all Iraq's neighbours to behave in the best interest of the Iraqi people." (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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