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Symposium on UAE-Russian Relations held

posted on 10/09/2007: 891 views

The Centre for Information Affairs affiliated to Deputy Prime Minister's Office organized a symposium today on "Relations between UAE and Russia". A number of specialists, researchers, ambassadors and diplomats participated in the event.

In the opening session, Pavel Merkulov, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Russian Federation to UAE, said that UAE and Russia strive to bring about international peace and security. He said that the long standing relations between UAE and Russia will be strengthened by the visit by President Vladimir Putin.

Dating back to 35 years, the bilateral relations between the two countries have witnessed a strong impetus especially in political, economic, trade and cultural avenues. He stressed that the visit of Russian president Vladimir Putin to UAE will open a new era in the march of these friendly relations and cooperation.

He pointed out that Russia and UAE are actively involved in international relations, and they cooperate with each other in this domain along with the international community, with a view to solve a wide number of regional and international conflicts and issues, in order to establish peace and security, and to create a better future for the next generations.

Speaking on economic and commercial relations, the Russian diplomat said that more than 400 Russian firms operate in the UAE economic free zone. Their activities include industry, tourism, property and retail trade and logistics, he said.

Vladimir Y. Kedrov, of the Russia al-Yaum TV (the Russia-Today TV channel) presented a paper entitled, "Russia and United Arab Emirates: Personal Impressions", in which he said that the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the United Arab Emirates will give a strong impetus to enhancing their relations at all levels, as both countries are now seeking to reinvigorate their common interests in political, economic, and cultural fields.

He observed that the tree of relations between the two countries has grown to become high and fruitful, strengthened by deep historical roots. This adds to President Putin's visit special importance, mentioning that Russia's feelings and affection toward the Arabian Gulf region in particular and the Arab world in general have been deeply rooted in history.

Speaking on the political system of UAE, Kedrov said that UAE adopts a policy of strengthening the principle of Shurah (mutual consultation) and democracy as bases of its political development. He noted that UAE experience is characterized by openness and tolerance at both domestic and international levels, based on its religious, cultural, and social structure.

The Russian expert added that the United Arab Emirates represents a unique entity on global and regional levels, as it is a major oil producer and is a global commercial and tourist hub, in addition to the political role it plays on the Arab and Islamic levels and its strategic and geo-political weight at the regional and international arenas.

He hailed the pioneering urban development in the UAE, saying that it managed in a short period of time to build beautiful and charming edifices. He noted that huge buildings were built in short period of time, entire cities and complexes made their ways in the sky. Streets and large roads in the cities became larger and have been planted with trees, he pointed out, adding that public parks and new recreation grounds have burgeoned, which reflect the country's high interest in developing green areas in all residential quarters.

Kedrov explained that all this happened in a coherent way he referred to as "unity in diversity and diversity in unity". He said, "I was particularly happy with the outstanding growth of urbanization and the fondness for bold architectural designs, which may lead one at first glance to believe that they alter the special identity of the cities", but this is not the case, the cities retain national and Arabic colours and embody the Arabic characteristics, he observed.

Dr. Yury Zinin, the Russian News and Information Agency "RIA Novosti" chief specialist, said in his paper entitled, "Development of Relations and Cooperation between UAE and Russia" that UAE has succeeded in making a quantum leap in modernity in very short span of time, becoming thus a model for permanent political stability and effective modernization.

He added that UAE has become one of the leading suppliers of energy resources to the world economy, a powerful investor and a major source of financial aid pointing out that its foreign policy is exerting an influence on both regional and global relations.

Dr. Zinin stressed that Putin's visit to the UAE is the first in the history of bilateral relations, and it will, no doubt, become a landmark in the development of bilateral cooperation. He affirmed that the two sides have established active political dialogue on a broad range of international and regional issues, and they have identical or close positions on many regional problems, like the Mid-Eastern peace process, the situation in Iraq, and Gulf security.

The Russian expert recalled that, with the end of the Cold War and the bloc confrontation, as well as Moscow's departure from its former ideology, bilateral relations between Russia and UAE moved into a new international context. After the Soviet Union's dissolution, the UAE officially recognized Russia on December 26, 1991, he said. To help the new Russia, UAE gave it a financial aid of US$500 without conditions, he recalled.

He said that Russia is capable of contributing to implementation of the GCC-related integration projects, with the help of both public and private sectors, mentioning that the Gulf countries in 2001 carried out 405 joint projects worth US$30 billion dollars, with UAE at the lead, in terms of the number of its projects, which reached 124.

He said that the UAE's policy of economic diversification has been successful, as oil today represents 32 to 35 percent of the country's gross income, compared to 70 percent in the early 1970s.

On its part, the Centre for Information Affairs affiliated to Deputy Prime Minister's Diwan presented a paper in which it confirmed that the UAE is known, at the international arena, for it consistent endeavour to cement the international relations, through the bases of friendship and cooperation among nations, with a view to embodying the values of human solidarity, justice and equality for all peoples of the world. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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