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UAE a model of Islam's tolerance: Swiss diplomat

posted on 07/06/2003: 571 views

The UAE under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, presents "a picture of tolerant Islam, a veritable United Nations in motion, with its multi-cultural residents living in harmony, so precious in today's turbulent world," according to the outgoing Swiss ambassador. In an interview with Khaleej Times, Dr Francoise Barras pointed out that relations between the two countries flourished in a fertile ground, given their common views and humanitarian outlook.

"When I first took over as Swiss ambassador here, relations were already excellent and trade between the two countries has more than doubled over the last three years, from Swiss francs 500 million to Sfr1 billion (Swiss exports to the UAE). The two countries have gone forth and broadened the scope of their relations to include partnerships in health care, education, direct investments, and in humanitarian fields. This has not been because of me, it is simply that it was a general period of expansion," the ambassador said.

Dr Barras praised the UAE leadership for wisely using the country's oil wealth as a catalyst in spurring national growth, "when so many countries with similar resources are nowhere as advanced". "The Geneva Clock, which was gifted by the City of Geneva to Sheikh Zayed has become a landmark in Abu Dhabi; we have helped initiate the Al Ain Music Festival and watched the event grow, with the third one this year having attracted 400 music and heritage enthusiasts," he said. (The Khaleej Times)


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