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Khalifa urges world to help reconstruct Iraq

posted on 06/06/2003: 689 views

London - The UAE yesterday voiced its support for Iraqi people and urged the international community to help in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country and the process of political restructuring.

"The UAE will back the Iraqi people until they overcome their current ordeal. We appeal to the international family to help in the reconstruction of Iraq, expedite efforts for restructuring of political life and the formation of its sovereign elected power," said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, after talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Sheikh Khalifa and Blair held talks at 10 Downing Street on the situation in Iraq, the latest Middle East developments, as well as regional and international efforts to implement the peace roadmap and find a settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as per international resolutions.

Blair welcomed Sheikh Khalifa in Britain and expressed his hope that the visit would push the historic friendship and cooperation to newer heights. Sheikh Khalifa appreciated Britain's commitment to reaching a peaceful settlement to the Middle East crisis and Blair's tireless efforts to obtain international consensus for the resumption of peace talks. He noted that the two-century old UAE-UK relations had made resounding success in political, economic and trade fields.

He called on Britain and the international community to join hands in pressing Israel to implement the roadmap without conditions in order to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Middle East crisis. Global efforts to fight terrorism figured high in the Khalifa-Blair discussions, where Sheikh Khalifa reiterated the UAE's principled anti-terror positions and its keenness to join the global campaign to uproot terrorism.

"Islam is a religion of tolerance, and it denounces these acts and abhors bigotry, violence and terrorism," Sheikh Khalifa said. He also highlighted the importance of constructive dialogue between religions and civilisations for the sake of strengthening common values of tolerance and peace.

The talks were attended on the UAE side by UAE Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Foreign Affairs. British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw was also present. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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