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Abdullah addresses UAE-Pakistan Ministerial Commission meet
Posted on12/06/2007 12:40:03

Islamabad - Meetings of the UAE-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission, which started yesterday, provide an excellent opportunity to make great steps forward in the strengthening of the already close and warm relationship, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, said today.

''I hope that our meetings will inaugurate a new phase in the relationship between our two countries. That relationship is deep-rooted in our shared history of commercial and cultural links that go back over four thousand years, to the time when copper from the UAE was being exported to your great civilisations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Since the establishment of the UAE, the ties have become steadily closer, ''Sheikh Abdullah added in a speech he made to the inaugural session of the UAE-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission.

He went on to say that :''We have the opportunity to make great steps forward in the strengthening of our already close and warm relationship. Let us hope that we are able to make the best of that opportunity.

Sheikh Abdullah is leading the UAE delegation to the meeting while the Pakistani side is headed by Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri.

Following is full text of Sheikh Abdullah's speech:

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to be in Pakistan for this meeting of the UAE-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Commission. I hope that our meetings will inaugurate a new phase in the relationship between our two countries.

That relationship is deep-rooted in our shared history of commercial and cultural links that go back over four thousand years, to the time when copper from the UAE was being exported to your great civilisations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Since the establishment of the UAE, the ties have become steadily closer.

We are near-neighbours. Many Emiratis know Pakistan very well, visiting this great country in the winter months to practice falconry, a key part of our intangible cultural heritage. And Pakistani citizens have contributed much to the UAE's development over the years. We have increasingly close economic ties and we share concerns on a wide range of issues, including, in particular, the security of our two countries and of the region as a whole.

These issues, and much more, will be discussed during our meetings, and I am confident that this meeting of the Commission will produce results that will be of enormous benefit in strengthening our relationship, for the mutual benefit of our peoples.

Our economy in the UAE is embarking on a new and massive phase of our development, while you in Pakistan, too, are witnessing substantial economic growth. We need to examine ways to link our economies more closely together, to make it possible for businessmen on both sides can work together in terms of inward investment and trade exchange. For that to be successful, we also need to lay down the necessary organisational and legal framework, and I hope that this meeting will help to speed up the process of negotiations on the various new agreements being discussed between our two countries, on topics like the promotion and protection of investment and on judicial matters. We need to look at ways of promoting collaboration in a variety of other fields, such as our media and cultural ties.

But we also have political and security issues to discuss. The situation in Afghanistan, the continued wave of terrorism that affects the region, the strife in Iraq and the lack of progress in the Middle East process - all these are issues that concern us both, and on which we should seek to work together more effectively, at bilateral, regional and international levels. Other issues of relevance to us both are Iran's nuclear programme and security at sea in the maritime waterway that connects our two countries.

We need to enhance the framework for political consultation on these and other topics and to work together against international terrorism and organised crime.

I hope that this meeting will produce concrete steps to stimulate closer collaboration on the issues I have mentioned and much more. We have the opportunity to make great steps forward in the strengthening of our already close and warm relationship. Let us hope that we are able to make the best of that opportunity. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)



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