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UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Concludes Washington Tour

posted on 23/11/2008: 1140 views



UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash concluded a three-day visit to Washington DC where he gave the keynote speech at the Middle East Institute's 62nd Annual Conference.

Dr. Gargash's remarks touched on a number of key areas of importance to the UAE. Of particular note, Dr. Gargash stressed that the UAE had accomplished much over the past 36 years including rapid infrastructural and socio-economic achievements. However, he stressed that the UAE's success is based on a "profound substance and depth to these developments beyond the visual image of great towers and bridges." These include a 93 percent literacy rate, over 60 public and private universities, 8 out of 1000 infant mortality rate, and over 60 percent of government employees comprised of women.

He also talked about regional foreign policy issues and emphasized the need for an early engagement by the incoming Obama administration in addressing the Middle East Peace Process. The UAE was awarded a trophy by the MEI in recognition of their efforts to combat human trafficking and the great achievements made over the past two years to address this crime.

During his tour, Minister Gargash was the guest of honor at the US-UAE Business Council where he spoke of the current dimensions of US-UAE bilateral relations, stressing that cooperation was key to continued growth and strategic partnerships. He highlighted the extent of people-to-people interaction, manifested in the increase in daily flights between the two countries, the large number of American expatriates living and working in the UAE, and developments in many other areas including education and healthcare.

During the visit, Minister Gargash also met with prominent figures in the U.S. nuclear energy sector at the US Chamber of Commerce, and briefed them on the peaceful UAE nuclear energy program. He stressed that the UAE interest in nuclear energy was motivated by the need to meet the future electric power demand projections to support the substantial growth in different sectors of the UAE economy.

He added that the UAE program could serve as a model for states which seek to develop their nuclear energy sector in a manner that is consistent with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and in cooperation with the international community. "The UAE approach to developing a civilian nuclear program has been complemented with an absolute commitment to the highest standards of operational transparency, safety, security and non-proliferation, said Dr. Gargash.

The Minister concluded his tour with a private roundtable discussion event with a select group of thought leaders in US foreign policy and national security affairs at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he elaborated on Middle East regional issues. The discussion was moderated by Dr. John Hamre, President and CEO of the CSIS.

UAE Ambassador, Yousef al-Otaibeh, accompanied Minister Gargash to these events and expressed satisfaction with the impact of Minister Gargash's visit in strengthening the strong friendship between the UAE and the United States. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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