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UAE seeks strong ties with world defence manufacturers: Khalifa

posted on 19/02/2007: 1445 views



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is seeking to forge strong, constructive partnerships with international manufacturers of national defence weapons and equipment, affirmed President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.



'We've gained a long experience over the past three decades in organising global defence shows and we have the national pioneering, administrative, technical, technological, scientific human resources who wield creative skills and capabilities not only to organise and manage global exhibitions but also have the potential to be integral part of the defence industry in terms of display and production,' Sheikh Khalifa said in a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM) yeterday after inaugurating the 8th edition of the biannual International Defence Exhibition (IDEX 2007).



Sheikh Khalifa, who is also Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, noted the steady increase in the number of national pavilions participating in the defence shows inside and outside the country, a move, he said, had enabled those exhibitors to establish successful partnerships with a number of international manufacturers of defence systems and equipment.



'The private sector and local capital can play a vital strategic role in this respect,' the President said, citing the resounding success made by the Abu Dhabi Ship building Company (ADSBC) which had carried out the Baynunah Corvettes programme, the pilot project in the Gulf region for a unique class of warship with multi-mission capabilities.



The Company, Sheikh Khalifa added, had maintained strong presence at the International Naval Defence and Maritime Exhibition and Conference (EURONAVAL) staged in Paris last October.



He expressed satisfaction at the quantum and qualitative progress IDEX 2007 has achieved whether in terms of surface area, participation of international firms and countries as well as quality of the state-of-the-art defence system and equipment technologies showcased.



He said the distinctive feature and global attention the event has enticed "is, by all standards, an accomplishment that mirrors the willpower and resolution of our Armed Forces men and our country's male and female youth, who have shown high competence and skills in coping with high-tech." He added that IDEX has become one of the most important and major defence shows in the world.



The President said since first launched in 1993, the exhibition has been marked by excellence and success thanks to the prudent leadership and far-sighted vision of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who has laid foundations of a modern state basking in security and stability and well placed in the world map.



Our endeavours and strategies, he maintained, are set to transform the UAE not only into a regional centre for major international fairs and conferences in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, but also into a regional hub for the global economy and hence be at the forefront in areas of economy, investment, industry, technology and science.



"The UAE military strategy and its plan to build an integrated and solid defence system reflect our keenness to safeguard its supreme national interests and sovereignty as well as possess, build and enhance the deterrent defence force," opined Sheikh Khalifa.



Khalifa said that the UAE will continue to support the strategic plans, upgrade the armed forces and bolster the defence capacities by providing the latest technologies in arms industry.



IDEX 2007, with its outstanding shows, provides a unique opportunity for decision-makers and military institutions to acquaint themselves with the latest technological advances in defence systems and technology and to exchange views and expertise, he added.



"We have repeatedly confirmed that the UAE is a state of peace, understanding and harmony. This has been our approach since the establishment of our young country, and it will continue in the future. However, we believe that there is a persistent need for a power to protect peace, and strong people with deterring and responding capacities are the real protectors of peace." "That is why we are keen to resume our efforts to maintain the level of defence and fighting efficiency of our armed forces and to support the creative and professional national cadres. These efforts have helped us build an integrated modern army capable of keeping our security and stability and maintaining our achievements." Khalifa said.



At the end of his statement, Sheikh Khalifa pointed to the International Gulf Defence Conference which will be held on the sideline of IDEX 2007 with the participation of a number of experts in defence systems and arms technology.



"The regularity of this conference, which shows the latest military and strategic research and studies, reflects our firm desire to prioritize dialogue and enhance the regional and global cooperation," Khalifa concluded. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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