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UAE defence strategy demands strong armed forces

posted on 18/03/2001: 2030 views

The UAE defence strategy formulated by President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan demands the building of strong armed forces according to carefully thought out plans which reflect world and regional changes and also meet the security and defence needs of the country, it was stated today.

The remarks were made by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the occasion of the International Defence Exhibition, IDEX 2001, due to be inaugurated here tomorrow.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Sheikh Khalifa said the strategy had involved the armed forces to acquiring the latest military technology and highest training skills that would enable them to protect the country's achievements and contribute effectively to world and regional security and stability. "The IDEX 2001 and other military shows held in the country show beyond any doubt the strong presence of the UAE in the world exhibitions cander and boost its reputation on its civilisation and economy on the global level," he said. He denied the existence of any contradiction between the holding of defence exhibitions and arming of the military with the latest equipment and the country's national policy based on promotion of peace. "There are dozes of countries around the world which equip their military with the latest armaments and have never been engaged in military conflicts," he said. "On the contrary," Sheikh Khalifa went on to say, "to neglect one's military needs will lead to weakness, thus inviting aggression and the imposition of other's will on the weak." "This is our strategy and will remain so in future," he added, noting that the top priority of the UAE defence was to spread peace and stability in the region.

Sheikh Khalifa said that the defence strategy had given prime importance to the country's military co-operation and co-ordination with GCC states and other Arab countries. "We are keenly interested in increasing our defence and training co-ordination with these countries in order to upgrade the fighting skills of our forces and to exchange expertise," he said. He added the GCC states had made great progress in their military and defence co-ordination.

Sheikh Khalifa said that the signature of the military defence agreement at last year's GCC summit in Bahrain had been the crowning moment of a series of steps taken towards the establishment of a unified defence policy for the GCC. The defence agreement binds all GCC states to come to the protection of any of its members that came under foreign attack or threat. Sheikh Khalifa said that a high degree of military co-operation had been achieved among GCC countries, particularly in the fields of creating a joint military force, early warning systems, security belt and secured communication systems. "In spite of this there is always a dire need for the upgrading of the Peninsula Shield forces as the core of a unified GCC military capable of protecting the member states' national security and maintaining regional peace and stability," he added.

Sheikh Khalifa said that the military conference being held in association with IDEX 20001, to be held under the theme of Gulf Defence Conference for the first time, would focus on the defence needs of and security issues relating to countries in the region. Sheikh Khalifa said "We in the GCC are all aware that the only way we can face challenges is to unify our ranks and work to achieve joint protection of our security."

On the economic benefits of IDEX 2001, Sheikh Khalifa said that the exhibition was a good opportunity for the UAE and other countries in the region to acquire the latest military equipment at suitable prices. "There are definitely some economic advantages for every one while the exhibition is a very good opportunity for decision makers to acquaint themselves with the latest defence technology and expertise," he added. Sheikh Khalifa said that the exhibition was also a good forum for military commanders and defence officials representing GCC states, Arab countries and other friendly nations to meet and exchange views on various military and defence issues. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM


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