Daily Archives: June 15, 2019

UAE participates in Fifth Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

The United Arab Emirates, since its establishment, has been an anchor for peace and stability in a volatile region that is now in a dire need of immediate solutions to counter extremism and terrorism and promote tolerance and mutual understanding, said a top official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, Assistant Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, made the remarks during his address before the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which concluded here today.

“The UAE has always been proving its commitment to resolving international disputes through dialogue and peaceful means and by providing relief aid to refugees in various conflict zones, while fostering regional and international cooperation, therefore playing a credible role recognised by the UN and other international humanitarian organisations around the globe, for its eminent contributions to easing human suffering and providing decent life for millions around the world,” Al- Marar, who led the UAE delegation to the two-day summit, added.

He affirmed the UAE’s continuing endeavours to promoting values of tolerance, acceptance, and women’s empowerment, as well as its categorical rejection of all fanatic ideologies that sow the seeds of violence and racial discrimination.

“Moderation and facing up to forces of evil, sectarianism and terrorism are a mainstay of the UAE’s foreign policy, as laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, upon whose footsteps our leaders are following to ensure prosperity and development and counter terrorism and extremism.”

He cited the February’s visit to Abu Dhabi of Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al Azhar as a successful result of the efforts made across the years by the UAE to underpin the values of tolerance, peace and moderation.

AL Marar doubled on the importance of maintaining channels of dialogue between CICA members to fight terrorism.

The UAE delegation to the summit included Dr Mohamed Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Kazakhstan, who is also the country’s non-resident ambassador to Tajikistan.

The CICA is an organisation that includes 27 member states covering about 90 percent of the territory and population of Asia.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Regional developments need wise heads to de-escalate: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

The current regional developments need a lot of “wise heads across the region and the world to de-escalate the situation,” according to UAE’s top diplomat.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, made the remarks during a press conference with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides whom he thanked for his country’s understanding of the developments in the region, especially in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and Yemen.

“Thank you for your strong support for the UAE’s position on the attacks in our seas. We presented our evidence to the UN Security Council. We have done that in a very technical manner; we have done it in a manner which is responsible, open, and transparent and we invited many of our friends, allies and partners to look at it. The conclusion is this has only been possible by state sponsored attacks. We hope that we can further work with our friends and partners in preventing such escalation from moving forward.”

Doubling on the flaws suffered by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, Sheikh Abdullah said, “We need friends and partners like you who can understand that we need a plan for the region which first of all covers members of the region. This was not present in the JCPOA; we have spoken at length on this matter for many times and that’s always been the UAE position.”

Reaffirming the UAE’s determination to advance relations with Cyprus, Sheikh Abdullah said, “I hope with friends and partners like Cyprus we can overcome missing such opportunities; not only with each other but also working with each other for other parts of our region.”

With regards to the Palestinian cause, the UAE’s top diplomat expressed concern about failing to achieve tangible progress: “We are looking at the development, especially about the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis, with a serious concern. That’s one of the matters that both of us had a conversation about, and we both agreed that we need this moving forward because the region needs better stories and the people of the region needs more hope.”

For his part, the Cypriot Foreign Minister affirmed that both countries share common understanding towards challenges like extremism and climate change.

He voiced his country’s condemnation of the recent attacks against commercial vessels in the Arabian Gulf, noting that “Cyprus stands side by side with the UAE and our partners in the region in condemning these terrorist attacks.”

The minister added that the two sides discussed ways of fostering bilateral relations, which he said, gained a significant momentum by today’s signing of an MoU to establish a joint cooperation committee as well as the signing of an economic cooperation accord.

The Cypriot top diplomat added that he exchanged views with Sheikh Abdullah towards the ongoing developments in the region, including the situation in Yemen, Syria and the Middle East peace process.

He hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed visits National Historical Museum in Sofia.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has visited Bulgaria’s National Historical Museum in Sofia, as part of his official visit to the country.

During the visit, Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva and Abdulwahab Nasser Hassan Al Najjar, UAE Ambassador to Bulgaria.

Sheikh Abdullah toured the museum, founded on 5th May 1973, contains over 650,000 objects connected to archaeology, the fine arts, history and ethnography.

He was briefed about the Thracian gold treasures, the centrepiece of the Thracian art collection, Boyana Church, and other artefacts in the museum.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed opens UAE Embassy premises in Bulgaria.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has opened the new premises of the UAE Embassy in Sofia, as part of his state visit to Bulgaria.

“The opening of the embassy translates the UAE’s keenness to boost prospects of cooperation with Bulgaria across various fields,” said H.H. Sheikh Abdullah after cutting the ribbon and raising the curtain, inaugurating the new premises of the embassy in the presence of Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Zaharieva stressed that the opening of the embassy is a step forward on the path to bolstering the steadily growing relations between the two friendly nations.

Abdulwahab Nasser Hassan Al Najjar, UAE Ambassador to Bulgaria and several Arab and foreign ambassadors accredited to Bulgaria, attended the opening ceremony.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UAE’s demand for immediate measures against Qatar will be ruled when case is heard in full: International Court of Justice.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued its decision on the Request for the Provisional Measures, submitted by the United Arab Emirates on 22 March 2019 against the State of Qatar, in the case concerning the Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. These provisional measures were presented by the UAE legal team before the Court last month.

The UAE requested that the court bring provisional measures against Qatar including; (i) withdraw the complaint submitted in March last year to the Committee against Racial Discrimination against the United Arab Emirates on the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, due to Qatari attempts to bring the same issue before the ICJ, unnecessarily adding to the work load of both institutions; (ii) un-blocking Qatari citizens access to the UAE website enabling them to apply for a permit to enter the Emirates; (iii) Qatar should immediately stop its national bodies and its State-owned, controlled and funded media outlets from aggravating and extending the dispute by disseminating false accusations regarding the UAE; (iv) refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute or make it more difficult to resolve.

The objective of the request by the United Arab Emirates was intended to present evidence to both the Court and the international community showing that; (i) the UAE’s dispute is not with the citizens of Qatar, but rather the destabilising and concerning actions of their government; (ii) this despite is based on Qatar’s longstanding support and financing of terrorist and extremist groups; (iii) Qatar has blocked the UAE government’s dedicated visa website aimed at helping Qatari nationals to obtain entry permits for the UAE and (iv) Qatar has used its NHRC and State-controlled and financed media outlets, such as Al Jazeera, to disseminate false information regarding the UAE.

In the oral pleadings, the UAE legal team achieved all the objectives sought in its written Request to forcing Qatar to admit that it had blocked it’s own citizens from accessing the Emirati website aimed at assisting them in obtaining a visa to enter the country, the provisional measures request enabled the UAE successfully to present evidence to the Court also showed that: (i) The lawful measures taken by the UAE were a direct result of Qatar’s continued support and funding of terrorist and extremist groups, and Qatar’s failure to meet its legal obligations outlined in 2013 Riyadh Agreement and Supplementary Agreements.

(ii) Qatar’s claims and allegations of racial discrimination are unfounded and not supported by evidence, despite Doha’s claims to the contrary.

(iii) The UAE terminated diplomatic relations with Qatar and has implemented a lawful visa system for Qatar citizens to enable them to continue to gain access to the Emirates; (iiii) Doha continues its policy of contradicting itself on Qatari citizens, claiming that the UAE is preventing Qatari citizens from entering the UAE, while it is Qatar who has blocked the means for them to do so.

(v) Qatar followed the same approach with Saudi Arabia by blocking the website of the Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in charge of facilitating the travel of Qatari citizens to undertake pilgrimages in an effort to hinder the travel of its own citizens to the territory of states with which it no longer had diplomatic relations with, in a similar attempt to bolster false claims that the Kingdom was denying entry to its citizens.

(vi) Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee fraudulently created falsified evidence about the supposed impact on Qatari citizens as a result of the UAE measures (vii) The Qatari National Human Rights Committee lacks independence in its work in accordance with the Paris Principles, given that it has not been subject to review since 2015. This issue was raised during the of its Universal Periodic Report on Human Rights review last month, which cast doubt on the credibility and independence of the Qatari National Human Rights Committee.

(viii) Qatar has, through its National Human Rights Committee NHRC, Al Jazeera and other media outlets controlled by the state, repeatedly spread false information about the UAE’s measures.

The case is still ongoing and will continue over the coming months, which will see further examination and scrutiny of Qatar’s continued violations of its international obligations.

The United Arab Emirates reaffirms its appreciation and confidence in the International Court of Justice and trusts that the Court will, through its insight and wisdom, affirm the UAE’s position once the case is concluded.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UAE reaffirms commitment to combating hate speech and safeguarding religious sites.

Earlier this week, Dr. Sultan Al Remeithi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders, reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to combating hate speech across all mediums and safeguarding religious sites in meetings with senior UN officials.

“This year, the world witnessed an increase in horrifying terrorist attacks on places of worship, which we strongly condemn” said Dr. Sultan. He added that the UN Secretary-General’s call to draft the Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites is very timely and critical.

Dr. Sultan participated in the UN Alliance of Civilizations’ (UNAOC) consultations on drafting the Plan of Action, where he reiterated the UAE’s support in both drafting and implementing the Plan of Action.

He also outlined the UAE’s initiatives in promoting peaceful coexistence and interreligious dialogue, including recent legislation to prevent hatred and discrimination, facilitating the establishment and promoting awareness of places of worship for different faiths, training of religious leaders to promote peaceful coexistence in their communities, and announcing 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.

Furthermore, Dr. Sultan met with Miguel Moratinos, High Representative of UNAOC, and the Head of Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, where he reaffirmed the UAE’s support for their vital work in combating hate speech & safeguarding religious sites.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, President of Cypriot Parliament discuss fostering relations.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, today met with Demetris Syllouris, the President of the Cypriot Parliament, and reviewed the prospects for advancing cooperation between the two friendly countries.

The UAE’s top diplomat, now on a visit to Cyprus, affirmed, during the meeting, the country’s determination to further consolidate bilateral relations across various fronts.

Syllouris underlined Cyprus’ keenness to growing the friendship ties between the two countries to higher levels.

Attending the meeting was Sultan Ahmed Ghanem Al Suwaidi, the UAE Ambassador to Cyprus.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Actors that destabilise MENA impede region’s development aspirations: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.

Actors that seek to destabilise the Middle East and North Africa with their backwards, extremist stances, impede the region’s ultimate development goals, said H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“We depend on friendly nations, like that of Bulgaria, to confront with us the fascist regimes that seek to destroy the region through peaceful means, spreading values of tolerance and success. Together, we can prevail over darkness,” His Highness continued.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed’s remarks were made during a press conference in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, alongside Ekaterina Zaharieva, Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

According to the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the two sides touched on the recent developments in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as well as the attacks on Saudi Arabia by Houthi militias that targeted the Kingdom’s two pump stations on its East-West pipeline, and the Abha International Airport injuring several civilians.

“We are in a complex region that has many resources, whether gas or oil, that are necessary for the world. We want the flow of said resources to remain safe, and to ensure the stability of the global economy. We must also secure our peoples and our economies,” Sheikh Abdullah affirmed.

“For us, the attacks on four oil tankers in the UAE’s territorial waters are evidence that we, alongside our various partner countries, have identified as underwater explosions, utilising sophisticated technologies.”

“These capabilities,” he added, “are not present in illegal non-state actors or groups. These are disciplined processes carried out by a state. However, until now, there is insufficient evidence to point to a particular country.”

He went on to note that the area in which the incidents took place has vital economic and geopolitical significance and that interruptions like the four attacks can lead to impeding the global supply of oil.

His Highness explained that there were some 184 oil and shipping vessels, among others, in the area where the first attacks took place last month.

“This was a real threat to global maritime shipping,” His Highness warned.

Sheikh Abdullah reiterated, “We must work together to spare the region from escalation, and give the voice of wisdom a chance.

“We have to work together to remove these tensions. We hoped that the efforts of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would succeed. The German foreign minister was present a few days ago in the region, and we remain hopeful in attaining a broader framework for cooperation with Iran.”

“The P5+1 deal,” His Highness added, “had two major flaws. The first being the lack of involvement with regional countries during the dialogue process. The second, not containing Iran’s ballistic missiles capabilities, and its interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries.”

“Real regional security and stability will only be attained when regional actors work together. Our region is the main energy supplier to the world; our safety and security is key to ensuring prosperity and stability for all,” he affirmed.

Commenting on UAE-Bulgaria ties, Sheikh Abdullah said that relations between the two countries are based on trust, and a willingness by both parties to work together to bring about new horizons for cooperation. He added that the two countries must work hard to promote bilateral ties, particularly in the trade and investment and tourism sectors.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his gratitude for the warm reception, stressing that the latest visit reflects joint efforts to expand ties between the UAE and Bulgaria further. “We also have a joint mission to ensure the success of Bulgaria’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai,” he added.

“We have agreed that there will be an open communication channel between the two sides, whose main objective is to develop the relationship and also to look for joint opportunities in the fields of security, technology, tourism and civil aviation,” His Highness explained.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a joint meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, where they discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries and the development of bilateral relations, as well as exchange of views on a number of issues of common concern. They also discussed regional and international events across multiple arenas.

For her part, Ekaterina Zaharieva welcomed the visit of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, stressing the keenness of her country to strengthen relations of cooperation with the UAE in various fields.

Abdulwahab Nasser Hassan Al Najjar, UAE Ambassador to Bulgaria, also attended meeting.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs