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Clinton sees role for UAE in reconstruction of Iraq

posted on 22/09/2003: 682 views

There could be a role for the UAE in the reconstruction of Iraq, according to former US president Bill Clinton who spoke yesterday at the American University in Dubai. Addressing students, he put forward the argument that the country could take responsibility for development in a designated sector of Iraq along other partners in the region, as part of an international effort. He used the suggestion to underpin his message that the UN should supervise security and peace in Iraq and that reconstruction efforts there should be made through global consensus.

"We should internationalise effort in Iraq. And we should get the UN to supervise peace and security there. As for rebuilding, all countries should contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq with each country supervising a significant part of rebuilding. "For example, the UAE can supervise reconstruction of a certain part in Iraq, and employ Iraqi technicians for the reconstruction projects," Clinton said.

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence, received Clinton who reiterated the importance of this initiative and its positive outcome on the occidental and oriental civilisations, indicating that his initiative is part of the humanitarian initiatives Sheikh Mohammed launches.

He praised achievements in Dubai under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He added that Dubai "is a story of success that ought to be narrated". Clinton commended Sheikh Mohammed for his achievements in promoting multiculturalism and economic development. He cited Dubai as an ideal partner for bridging the gap of cultural understanding between America and the Arab world.

The UAE is a model for a genuine Arab, Islamic nation that houses all cultures and nationalities," he added. Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Clinton initiative confirming that it will receive all the support and encouragement from him personally. Sheikh Mohammed added that the UAE will remain cradle of the international civilisation and culture, and the confluence of tolerance and homogeneity of religions.

During his speech at the American University of Dubai, AUD, he addressed the situation in Iraq and also gave his views on efforts towards peace between Israelis and Palestinians. "We want Iraq to be a successful, democratic and peaceful neighbour. For this it should reconcile Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, he said.

Clinton announced a scholarship sponsored by the Clinton Presidential Foundation. He announced a list of students who will study at the American University in Dubai under the William J. Clinton Scholarship – a new initiative of the Clinton Presidential Foundation. "The Clinton Presidential Foundation will sponsor up to 40 young American students to study in the AUD," he said. (The Gulf News)


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