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Sheikh Abdullah participates in Manama Dialogue 2013

posted on 08/12/2013: 1678 views

Manama: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, participated on Friday in the inauguration ceremony of the 9th session of "The Manama Dialogue", which will run till Sunday.

Organised by Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the event is attended by 50 Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence and Chiefs of Staff, in addition to a number of senior security and intelligence officials.

Sheikh Abdullah met separately on the sidelines of the forum with the US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, and Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Borge Brende. He discussed with them a number of issues relating to the agenda of the forum as well as the latest regional and international developments of mutual interest.

The U.A.E. Foreign Minister and heads of the delegations attended the inaugural dinner party hosted by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain.

Prince Salman said that the effective coordination in the regional and international attitudes and preserving of balances with understanding of special status of each region could ensure better understanding formula. He noted that the principle of consensus could be a guarantor for the rights of all parties. The Crown Prince of Bahrain called for collective action to tackle the Syrian crisis to save the lives and rights of Syrian people, as well as to avoid complication of the conflict.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague delivered a key note speech at the forum in which he stressed the regional issues that the UK was addressing in the hope of settling them. He noted that Syria will disintegrate if no solution is reached by 2014, adding that with the upsurge of violence, the areas out of control of the government would affect the region.

Hague added that Syria's neighbours will be in the forefront if the violence escalates, noting that it may pose threats to Europe and the world at large. He stressed that the continuation of conflict would exacerbate the humanitarian crisis, referring to the number of the Syrian refugees, which had reached four million, equivalent to one fifth of Syrian population.

He called on the Syrian government and opposition to attend the Geneva 2 Conference on 22nd January, urging both sides to make concessions.

The forum opened with a special inaugural session broadcasted by Sky News Arabia. The session focused on the future of the Middle East - Conflict and Change. It was addressed by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Chairman of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman, Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, US Senate, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Prince Turki called on Iran to show good intentions towards the countries in the region instead of distributing white smiles, urging Iran to be clear regarding Bahrain and to stop the media campaign waged by the Iranian TV stations against the Kingdom of Bahrain. He stressed that the GCC states should have been part of the preliminary nuclear deal between Iran and the west.

Prince Turki agreed with Sheikh Mohammed Al Sabah on the need to remove the Bashar al-Assad regime to put an end to the Syrian standoff, holding the international community accountable about the Syrian victims who fall daily at the hands of the regime.

Today four sessions will be held. The first session will tackle the priorities of international security for the USA. The second session will discuss the development of the regional security structure, disputes and external powers. The third session will focus on the situation in Syria and its regional impact, while the fourth session will focus on the theme "Stability of the Middle East, intervention, mediation and security coordination." The third day of the forum will see four sessions on the repercussions of the Syrian war on the region and the risks posed by sectarianism and extremism, as well as changes in the regional and international balances, changes in the energy markets and the security of the Middle East.

The Manama Dialogue is an opportunity to discuss the regional security structure. It provides a platform for ministers, Chiefs of Staff and national security leaders to hold bilateral and multilateral consultations on the main security issues and external political challenges, which faces the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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