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UAE-UK taskforce marks first year of work

posted on 23/06/2011: 939 views

As co-Chairs of the UAE-UK Taskforce, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Rt. Hon. William Hague are pleased to mark and commend the end of the first year of its work. The UK and UAE are close and trusted partners and, through the work of the Taskforce, this partnership has grown even stronger.

The Taskforce was established in July 2010 following the visits of the British Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP to the UAE, and of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the UK, with the intention of further strengthening the ties between the two countries.

The Task Force has strengthened the links between the UK and UAE in a number of important areas and delivered the following objectives: Increased cooperation on Defence, Counterterrorism, and Security issues such as aviation security and intelligence sharing.

Established a CEO Forum to strengthen commercial links and encourage the growth of business between the two countries.

Held a joint Development Seminar which focussed on international aid and allowed the countries to share best practice and potential ideas for collaborative engagement.

Established a regular Consular Working Group which met for the first time on 25 May 2011 providing a forum for officials to discuss issues of concern to both nations, including the interests of the significant British and Emirati expatriate populations in the UAE and UK.

Built on the excellent collaboration between the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change and the UAE Government, with the UK hosting the European Future Energy Forum in collaboration with the UAE's Masdar.

Signed an important agreement on nuclear cooperation in November 2010.

Lifted visa requirements for holders of Diplomatic and Official passports when travelling on official business, which is a significant step in facilitating intergovernmental exchange.

Agreed to cooperate on a range of priorities in the G20 this year.

In addition, the Foreign Ministers stressed that ongoing constructive dialogue between the two countries has enabled cooperation on important regional issues and they looked forward to a further twelve months of deepened co-operation.

Furthermore, the Foreign Ministers noted that the year has been marked by numerous high level visits between the two countries, symbolising the closeness and importance of the partnership. Most notable were the visits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the UAE, which saw the signing of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, renewing the 1971 Treaty of Friendship, and of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the UK.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Rt. Hon. William Hague have discussed the need to further progress cooperation over the coming year in areas such as improved commercial ties, stronger defence cooperation, increased coordination on regional and wider foreign policy issues, and enhancing cooperation in the fields of culture and education. They have asked the next meeting of the Task Force to discuss how this might be achieved.

The fifth Taskforce meeting was held in London on 22 June 2011. The meeting was hosted by the Hon. Alistair Burt MP, the UK's Minister for the Middle East and South Asia, and the UAE delegation was led by Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

This last year the UAE-UK Taskforce has been an important mechanism to strengthening the relationship between the two countries. In its second year the Taskforce will set new targets to deepen their relations even further. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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