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Mohammed bin Rashid talks to press members of his entourage

posted on 24/05/2007: 698 views

Seoul - Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday at his residence here gave audience to members of the press accompanying him on the second day of his historic visit to South Korea.

In his open discussions with the press, which include representatives of local, Arab and foreign media houses, Sheikh Mohammed focused on the UAE's investment and economic approach to Asia to boost bilateral relations of cooperation and economy, particularly in technology, education, tourism and culture sectors with Asian countries. "With regard to our country's policy towards fraternal and friendly countries in view of the open economic and investment policy towards those countries, we as leaders of the UAE, are committed to maintaining a balanced policy, particularly, in view of the fact that the UAE maintains good and strong ties with European countries, some South and North American countries and the United States," he said, adding that his visit to South Korea was part of the efforts to create a balance in the UAE's ties with countries with whom the UAE can cooperate for mutual interest.

Responding to a question from one of the pressmen, Sheikh Mohammed said: "We are making great efforts to unite all Arab countries economically.

We strive to achieve this national objective by executing joint investment projects with a number of Arab countries to create jobs for Arab youths and to improve their education, social and education standard," he said.

"We need to leave political differences aside. We need to shun those differences because they are very delicate. Each and every Arab country has its own problems and private matters. With time, political differences will fade away, but the economy will remain the solid and fertile ground that would unite Arabs, or, at least, forge a bridge for continuous contact among Arabs," he added.

He cited the latest humanitarian initiative, the USUS$10 billion Mohammed Bin Rashid AI Maktoum Foundation, a major initiative to promote human development and provide hope and opportunity by investing in education and the development of knowledge in the region. He said the initiative was just the first step on a long way that seeks to create a well-educated generation that focus on scientific research because the number of researchers and research works in the Arab world is currently very low.

It is far less than one percent in the Arab world compared to the figure in Europe and the US, adding that there is no need to stop the wheel of economic, social and human resources development until the region achieves full peace and total calm. "All forms of development must continue to move forward in order to catch up with the countries that are ahead of us," he said.

"We must not allow the political and security problems in many Arab countries in the region to stop us from achieving sustainable development, which, we, as leaders, want to ensure that the benefit is selflessly shared with all Arab and Muslim peoples," the UAE Vice president said. "We are alright, our nation is alright," he added.

He pointed out that he and his team are focusing on investment on human resources to achieve development, success and excellence in all areas of building and modernisation in the country. "Thanks be to Allah, we have achieved, through the hard work of our well-trained cadres, international standard, but this does not mean we should not closely figure out our lapses and shortcomings to learn from and avoid repeating them in our long march," he said. "That's why I take you, the press; along with me on my trips abroad to enable you know everything that goes on. We never hide any information from you. You must cover everything and write about it with utmost transparency. Here you are, seeing all what we do, how we move and where we want to reach with our movements in all directions and with our building of a balanced ties not just for our people, but for Arabs," he added.

Sheikh Mohammed urged Arab governments to follow the footsteps of the UAE in hard work in serving their peoples and in providing job opportunities and stable life for them. "This is what we are committed to achieving," he said.

The Dubai Ruler lauded the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and South Korea. He said his visit to Korea aims at moving trade ties between the two countries to a partnership level, adding that it also aims at building a solid foundation for a better future for both countries and their peoples. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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