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Gulf Defence Conference begins sessions

posted on 18/03/2003: 1559 views

The Gulf Defence Conference 2003 started sessions yesterday on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) currently in progress. Addressing the opening session, Brigadier Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Commander of the Presidential Guards, said the conference " is being held amid extremely intricate circumstances” and that the event in itself provides "such a rare opportunity to attract delegations from various nationalities and countries in order to exchange views.”

He conveyed greetings of President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the participants, wishing them success. " The UAE, at the directives of President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and close follow up by Lt. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, has exerted unabated efforts to provide the proper venue and ambience for the exhibitors to display various types of weaponry in such a way that suits the technological characteristics of these weapons and equipment,” Sheikh Nahyan said in his keynote address to the Conference, which is being held under the theme " Gaining an edge- Future challenges and requirements for the Armed Forces of the GCC.”

He added that IDEX had become " a prominent and civilized event” in the Middle East in terms of arrangements and facilities rendered. " The accelerated developments witnessed by mankind, in various domains and at the advent of the third millennium, represent great challenges for us to encounter,” Brigadier Sheikh Nahyan noted.

Speaking on "enhancing the regional security environment in a changing world”, Major General Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, commander of the Jordanian Air Force, expressed his country's readiness to work with the GC countries for maintaining " the collective security” of the region. He said that security challenges remain the big concern of the countries of the region, where huge amounts of money were being expended for achieving the security and stability. " In view of the top security challenges we face, any credible measures to enhance security in our changing world must include a political and socio- economic component alongside any military and security response,” Prince Faisal argued.

He pointed out that everyone was subject to terrorist attacks and that escape was conditional to cooperation. On the situation in Iraq, he said cooperation with the UN and USA was a must in order to receive economic, political and military support. Prince Faisal indicated that the Peninsula Shield forces were the best model for collective action, saying that the size of these forces could be increased and that other countries might join them. He reviewed the military contribution Jordan could offer in this respect.

Addressing the session, Saeed Saif bin Jabr Al Suweidi, Chairman of the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the convening of the conference was a commitment by the organizers, the Abu Dhabi-based General Exhibitions Corporation, towards continuous perseverance to serve the security and defence issues in the region and in the world as a whole in coordination with the UAE Armed Forces. " It is no exaggeration to say that stability of the Gulf has become essential to achieving world stability. Security and defence issues in the region are directly related to all international developing events,” Al Suweidi maintained.

He said that these issues affect the future and destiny of the region, adding that these issues are the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the Palestinian Intifada and the Arab- Israeli conflict, the importance of the Gulf within the Arab world security order and the challenges of the new world order as well as stability factors of oil prices, to name some. The Gulf defence conference will discuss three papers on enhancement of the regional security environment in a changing world, changing the dimensions of military ordnance and its impact on the armed forces of the GCC states. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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