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Gargash explains UAE's stance on key regional issues at 'Meet the Press' at ECSSR

posted on 24/11/2009: 731 views



Speaking yesterday at the ECSSR press conference, H.E Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs re-affirmed the UAE's strong and engaged stance in addressing key regional issues including extremism, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East Peace Process.



"Our policy on the issue of terrorism and extremism is very clear - extremism is a major challenge to stability in the region. Through our policies on Afghanistan and our commitment to our friends in Pakistan, the UAE is supporting security and stable governance throughout the region. Extremism and terrorism are not simply national challenges, they are a regional threat. And they pose a challenge not only to our national interests, but also to the true essence of our religion which has been hijacked by extremists claiming to act in its name" stated Gargash.

Gargash went on to address the UAE's relationship with Iran. While affirming that the UAE continues to value good relations with all of its neighbours including Iran, he also emphasized the need to peacefully resolve the ongoing Iranian occupation of three UAE islands. Gargash also expressed concern over the lack of transparency in Iran's nuclear program and re-affirmed the UAE's support for a diplomatic resolution of this issue.

Gargash went on to state that the UAE nuclear program provides a model and gold-standard for how countries can develop peaceful nuclear programs transparently and with the full cooperation and support of the international community. On the 123 agreement with the United States, Dr Gargash said that there will be an exchange of notes in December.

In answering questions from the floor, Dr Gargash outlined the important role that the UAE is continuing to play in efforts to support the Middle East Peace Process. He emphasised that the UAE remains committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority economically and politically and to building a lasting peace based on a two state solution.

He reiterated the UAE's concern that the issue of settlements poses a significant impediment that derails progress towards talks on a comprehensive solution and one that must be addressed by the international community. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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