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UAE led by Khalifa moves towards building stronger Union

posted on 01/12/2011: 772 views

H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, stressed that the UAE under leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has been building the UAE Union based on its own and other experiences.

He added that "Our celebration of the 40th national day anniversary reflects the depth of the UAE Union's experience that moves it to the advanced countries and achieve welfare of its citizens".

Sheikh Abdullah was speaking today afternoon at Yas Viceroy Hotel at Yas Island in a meeting with 100 journalists from 43 countries, who are visiting the country upon invitation by National Media Council (NMC). The event was organised by NMC.

On the sanctions slapped by the Arab League on Syria, he said, "The situation is very difficult in Syria, especially after the Arab League had taken a series of penal measures. We were expecting our brothers in Damascus to accept the Arab Initiative as it is, but they refused, forcing the Arab League to take the resolutions by slapping the economic penal measures to force it to accept the Arab initiative".

The UAE Foreign minister added that "We are still hoping Damascus will accept the Arab Initiative to avoid tough Arab Punishments".

"Will not anticipate events and must remain optimistic in solving the crisis. It is difficult for us to talk now about the timing of the implementation of sanctions as we should give another chance to Damascus to get out of the difficult situation which it has put itself in and the Arabs as well.", Sheikh Abdullah said.

About his recent visit to Pakistan, he said the UAE-Pak relations are historic and strategic, indicating that the UAE is closely following up the developments in Pakistan. "During my recent visit to Islamabad, I met Pakistani President, Minister of Foreign Affairs and a number of senior officials to boost the bilateral relations.

He added that the UAE has officially denounced Nato attack on the Pakistani soldiers, adding that the UAE has issued a statement calling on Nato to apologize to Pakistan about the error. "We have also called on Nato to immediately explain causes of incident and pledge that the such incident will not happen again" About Pakistani Shames Military Base, Sheikh Abdullah said, it is not under the jurisdiction of the UAE. The issue is being discussed by Nato and Pakistan.

On the attack on the British Mission in Tehran, he added "that the UAE respects the international law and a member of the United Nations, so it will sympathise with any country whose Embassy gets attacked", adding that the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran is unacceptable and violated the Geneva Convention on protection of the diplomatic missions.

He added the UAE has been in contact with the British government. "We are ready to offer any evacuation assistance of the Embassy staff, if requested by Britain".

On the UAE-Omani relations, Sheikh Abdullah said the two countries enjoy the historic and strategic relations based on the cooperation and distinguished fraternal ties between President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HM Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed of Sultanate of Oman.

On joining of Jordan and Morocco of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States, Sheikh Abdullah said "there are no objections to the distinguished relations between the GCC and the two countries. But there is no consensus about the joining of two countries to the GCC with full membership".

He added that there is difference between the distinguished relations with Jordan and Morocco and the full GCC membership. "There is huge difference".

The UAE minister said that the GCC will offer two countries an opportunity for sound and the best model relations with the GCC, quoting HRH Prince Saud Al Faisal, Saudi Foreign Minister, who said, " We have to learn from EU experience which hurried to include 10 states to face the repercussions of the hasty decision on current euro crisis. We do not one that to occur in the GCC".

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the role of GCC in the Arab world events, citing that the GCC plays a pivotal role in these crises in a number of Arab countries. "We have seen how the GCC had worked seriously in the crises of Libya, and now in Syria and Yemen. Therefore, we do not want to look for new members to strengthen the GCC." "I'm pretty sure, without the GCC strength, the Arab situation would have been below the wishes of Arab people in the current circumstances", he said, adding that there is an agreement to set up Arab Committee to look into situation of the countries neighbouring Syria, and the repercussions of the Arab sanctions on them. He added that the UAE is not a member of the Committee.

Sheikh Abdullah said the situation in Lebanon is critical as many believe the country will suffer, and this is very sad.

On the sanctions on Iran, Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE complies with the sanctions imposed by the UN under chapter seven against any country in the world, but additional sanctions are left to the private sector.

Regarding Yemen, he said he was optimistic Yemen will overcome the crisis soon, stressing the support of the GCC to Yemen to resume dialogue with the GCC.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the GCC has played great role to encourage Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition to sign the Yemeni Initiative, which was endorsed by the UN Security Council.

He added that the Yemeni Crisis is linked to situation in Somalia, citing the spread of anarchy and piracy in the Horn of Africa country.

On Libya, Sheikh Abdullah said, the internal situation in Libya concerns Libyans alone, adding that the situation is better in Libya, especially after the formation of government.

About Tunisia, he said that he was the first Arab official to visit the country after the new changes, praising the country for restoring the civil political system quickly.

On the UAE-Egyptian ties, the UAE minister, "Our strategic vision towards Egypt continues with the new government irrespective of he who rules Egypt. Egypt undergoes the critical transitional period that we have to assist it to overcome".

He referred to many meetings held between the officials of the two countries on pending issues over the UAE-Egyptian investments.

Answering a question on the period of Al Jezirah Shield Forces in Bahrain, he said that the GCC supports the steps of King of Bahrain, especially after setting up of the facts finding committee, adding that the GCC supports all the steps of monarchy in the light of historic speech in which the King exhibited transparency and openness, and taking appropriate decision to redress the mistakes and not to repeat them.

"We will not withdraw Al Jezirah Shield Force except with a request from Bahrain, because the force was sent there upon the official request from Bahrain", he added.

Sheikh Abdullah said the amnesty issued by the UAE President to release five Emirati citizens convicted by the UAE court, is not strange to the President who works for the interest of the country to ensure future of citizens. He added that the amnesty surprised many who attempted to doubt the integrity of the UAE judiciary.

On building of the UAE nuclear-actors, he added the decision to build the peaceful nuclear energy programme in the UAE was taken to address the increasing demand for energy annually- about 9 per cent annually.

This programme, he continued, will help the UAE gets drinking water, because it suffers scarcity of water and depends on desalination of water.

The UAE minister said the UAE has taken a tough decision to accept and sign addendum protocol, banning enrichment of uranium in the UAE and dumping and recycling the nuclear wastes in the UAE under supervision of the international committee for the nuclear programme.

He called on EU to speed signing of the Free Trade Agreement with the GCC after 22 years of talks, adding that the EU will be a loser if it does not sign as there are other economic blocs such as ASEAN, China, Japan, India and Australia, which are interested to sign agreements for setting up the free trade zone areas.

Sheikh Abdullah called on EU to lift impediments that delay the deal before it is too late. â€" Emirates News Agency, WAM


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