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Sheikh Mohammed says aircraft deal a message of peace

posted on 05/11/2001: 1541 views

General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Defence Minister, today said that the US$ 15 billion aircraft deal that the Emirates today signed with Boeing and Airbus was a message of peace from the UAE to the outside world. He said that the 47 Boeing and Airbus aircraft was to show the world that social, economic and human development projects were a priority for the UAE. "The message is to show the UAE as a civilised country that has a great pride in its genuine Arab culture and has a keen desire to build a bright future for its people," Sheikh Mohammed said. He added that the deal was a well studied development plan for the UAE's national carrier, noting that other deals would follow at the appropriate time.

Answering questions of reporters, Sheikh Mohammed denied that the events in Afghanistan had any negative economic, social or political impact on the UAE or other GCC states. He scoffed at the campaign of foreign media against the UAE and other GCC states, describing it as propaganda drums that was of no concern to the GCC countries. "We know ourselves and we have great trust in the policies of our leader Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan which are based on tolerance, peaceful co-existence and harmony among world people," sheikh Mohammed said. He underlined that these principles were at the core of Islamic teachings. He added that the aim of building a strong UAE defence force was to protect the achievements of the country and was not intended against anyone else. "We are a peace loving country and we love our neighbours and friends to live in peace and prosperity," he said.

Answering a question on whether the UAE or any other GCC country were planning to build military or civil aircraft industry, Sheikh Mohammed said that the GCC states had no such capability. He said that he was optimistic that the Middle East conflict would end in a peaceful solution, saying that the European Union and the United States were both determined to find a just solution to the Palestinian issue. He said that any solution should include an independent and viable state for Palestinian people with full sovereignty and territorial integrity. He called upon the international community not to help the Afghan people recover from the aftermath of long suffering and wars. He affirmed the UAE's determination to extend all kinds of assistance to that poor and Moslem nation.

Meanwhile, Lt. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Armed Forces Chief of Staff, said that the Dubai Air Show continued its works as usual despite the current uneasy situation created by the September 11 events. He said that the prevailing security and stability had enabled all the economic sectors of the country to function normally. Answering a question on President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan's role in maintaining world peace and stability, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that the President had often called for the strengthening of peace and reconciliation among world nations and worked hard for the solidarity and cohesion of Arab and Islamic countries. "However, the current world affairs do not meet the aspirations of the President," he said. He expressed the hope that things would return to the way they had been before the September 11 events. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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