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Government

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed meets Oman’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met with Sayyid Badr Hamad al-Busaidi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Oman.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the strong historic ties between the UAE and Oman and ways of strengthening their overall cooperation.

The ministers also discussed a number of issues of mutual concern and the latest regional and global developments.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the deep-rooted strategic relations between the UAE and Oman, supported by the two countries’ leaderships, stressing his keenness to consolidate and develop the joint cooperation in all fields.

He also expressed his wishes to Oman for further progress and prosperity, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Sultan of Oman.

Al-Busaidi, for his part, stressed the brotherly relations between the two countries, and congratulated the UAE on winning the bid to host the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in 2023.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed receives Slovak FM

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received on Saturday Minister of Foreign of the Slovak Republic Ivan Korcok and discussed with him ways of strengthening bilateral cooperation. The latest developments on the regional and international arenas were also reviewed, in addition to a number of issues of common interest.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the visit of Ivan Korcok, praising the friendship and cooperation relations between the UAE and Slovakia, which enjoy the support of the leaderships of the two friendly countries.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the keenness to advance the prospects of joint cooperation with Slovakia in all fields, in a way that achieves the common interests of the two friendly countries and benefits their peoples.

For his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, highlighted the distinguished relations with the UAE, stressing his country’s aspiration to strengthen them in all fields.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed receives Iranian FM’s phone call

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received a phone call from Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

During the conversation, they discussed bilateral relations and cooperation and ways to enhance them in the best interest of the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE looks forward to working jointly with Iran in the field of environmental protection and facing the challenges of climate change.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

Taliban Foreign Minister Meets With US, Russian, Chinese, Pakistani Special Representatives

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan hosted China, Russia, and the United States Thursday for talks on Afghanistan, bringing them to Islamabad at the same time as a Taliban delegation led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who arrived Wednesday night.

“We are confident that Troika Plus’s engagement with the new Afghan government will help consolidate peace and stability, promote sustainable economic development, and constrict space for terrorist outfits operating from and within Afghanistan,” Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said in opening remarks.

Talking to media later, he promised to involve the Taliban officially in future regional meetings.

“God willing, we will invite them in the next meeting in Beijing so that their concerns should be shared with the world, and they should know what the world community expects from them in return,” Qureshi told journalists in the capital, Islamabad.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the four countries of the Troika Plus format pressed the Taliban to provide access to education for women and girls of all ages. The Taliban have suspended secondary school education for girls in most provinces since their August 15 takeover of the country.

The statement also called upon the Taliban to “ensure unhindered humanitarian access, including by women aid workers, for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan to respond to the developing crisis.”

In many Afghan provinces, local Taliban commanders are demanding that female aid workers are always accompanied by a close male relative, making their jobs difficult or in some cases impossible.

At the same time, the special representatives for Afghanistan from the four countries that participated in the meeting agreed on the need for urgent humanitarian assistance and urged the United Nations to take the lead in coordinating help for the Afghan population.

International aid agencies have sounded the alarm on Afghanistan’s situation, calling it one of the worst humanitarian crises.

“Now we have over 22 million people marching toward starvation,” said the World Food Program’s executive director, David Beasley, in a video message he tweeted from Kabul airport Thursday.

The situation is made more difficult because the United States has frozen nearly $10 billion in Afghan government assets in U.S. banks until the Taliban fulfill their commitments to the international community.

The Troika Plus, or extended Troika, format was created by Russia and included Iran and the four countries meeting Thursday in Islamabad. However, Iran has been reluctant to attend meetings that put their officials face to face with U.S. officials.

In a telephone briefing Monday in Brussels, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West underlined the importance of working with the region, including Iran, “on our common and abiding interest in a stable Afghanistan,” he said.

He also emphasized that the Taliban needed to deliver on their promises on human rights and women’s rights.

“Statements are not enough,” he said.

According to West, the formation of an inclusive and representative government was “a point I think is especially shared by many regional powers as well.”

Thursday’s meeting is the fourth on Afghanistan by its neighbors since the Taliban takeover. The three others were held in Moscow, Tehran, and New Delhi. China and Pakistan stayed away from the New Delhi meeting Wednesday, with China citing scheduling issues and Pakistan’s national security adviser calling India a “spoiler” in Afghanistan.

In October, senior U.S. officials, including West, engaged with the Taliban directly in Qatar’s capital, Doha, and more engagement is expected.

“We are preparing for a next round of interagency U.S. engagement with the Taliban,” West said, without giving dates.

Source: Voice of America

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Government

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed meets Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Amman

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met in Amman with Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan.

During the meeting, both sides discussed boosting their overall cooperation, in light of their deep-rooted strategic relations.

Sheikh Abdullah and Safadi also highlighted their mutual keenness to reinforce the cooperation between the two countries in all areas, most notably in investment, economy, tourism, culture and defence.

They then discussed the outcomes of the meeting between His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of Jordan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in Amman in May, which aimed to strengthen the close ties between the two countries.

The two ministers talked about several regional issues of mutual concern and highlighted the importance of continuing their related coordination and cooperation to overcome common challenges and achieve security and stability in the Arab region.

Sheikh Abdullah extended his greetings and congratulations to Safadi on the centenary of the founding Jordan.

Safadi, for his part, congratulated the UAE on its Golden Jubilee and the successful hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah stressed the UAE and Jordan share deep-rooted, profound and strategic relations, noting their mutual keenness to enhance their overall cooperation.

He added that the UAE appreciates Jordan’s key role in supporting joint Arab action and achieving security and stability in the region.

Safadi highlighted Jordan’s appreciation for its distinguished ties with the UAE, lauding its mutual stances and its support for Jordan in overcoming economic challenges and support for Jordanian citizens in the UAE.

The meeting was also attended by Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, and Ahmed Ali Mohammed Al Balushi, UAE Ambassador to Jordan.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

India Hosts Talks on Afghanistan but Pakistan, China Stay Away

NEW DELHI — India hosted senior officials from Afghanistan’s neighboring countries to discuss the regional security implications of the country’s takeover by the Taliban, but New Delhi’s rivals China and Pakistan did not attend the meeting.

China cited “scheduling reasons” for not coming but conveyed that it is open for dialogue with India on Afghanistan multilaterally and bilaterally.

Noting last week that he did not plan to attend the talks, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said “a spoiler cannot become a peacemaker,” in an apparent reference to India.

Officials from Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the conference on Wednesday.

Political analysts say the dialogue aimed at highlighting India’s security interests in Afghanistan, where it has been sidelined since the Taliban takeover even as Pakistan, which has deep ties with the Islamist group, has emerged in a dominant position.

Security concerns arising from the Taliban control of Afghanistan weigh heavily on New Delhi, which wants to build a regional consensus, amid worries Afghanistan will become a haven for militant groups.

A “Delhi declaration” released after the conference underlined the need to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a “safe haven for global terrorism” and called for “collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.”

It also underlined the need for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

“We all have been keenly watching the developments in that country. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for its neighbors and the region,” India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said. He emphasized the need for “close consultations” and greater coordination to enhance the region’s collective security.

New Delhi worries that the Taliban victory will embolden anti-India terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, which have been at the forefront of a three-decade-long separatist insurgency in Indian Kashmir.

India’s position in Afghanistan, where it invested billions on development projects in a bid to build “soft power,” suffered a huge blow with the withdrawal of the U.S. troops. New Delhi has no diplomatic presence in the country although it held its first official meeting with a Taliban representative in Qatar on August 31.

Officials in India’s Foreign Ministry told media that Pakistan’s refusal to attend the meet was “unfortunate but not surprising” and “reflects its [Islamabad’s] mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate.”

New Delhi’s meeting came a day before Pakistan is scheduled to host talks on Afghanistan that are to be attended by the United States, China and Russia.

According to Reuters, a Taliban spokesman in Kabul, Zabihullah Mujahid, has expressed optimism about the series of meetings in Moscow, Tehran, New Delhi and Islamabad.

“We are optimistic because the whole region needs stability and security in Afghanistan … the meetings that are going to happen pave the way to understanding, and they are hopefully in the benefit of Afghanistan,” Mujahid said.

Pakistan will host the United States, China and Russia this week for talks on Afghanistan under what is known as the “troika plus” process.

Officials in Islamabad confirmed to VOA that Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Afghan Taliban, also has been invited to the meeting, scheduled for Thursday, describing his participation as an “important” development.

Newly-appointed U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and his Russian, Chinese and Pakistani counterparts will lead their respective delegations at the talks.

Source: Voice of America

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Government

UAE Foreign Minister, Cyprus’ counterpart discuss cooperation

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has met with Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, in the capital Nicosia.

The meeting touched on bilateral relations between the UAE and the Republic of Cyprus and ways to boost joint cooperation between the two friendly countries in various fields, including economic and trade.

The Ministers reviewed a number of issues of common concern, including the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as developments in the regional and international arenas.

Sheikh Abdullah lauded the distinguished bilateral relations between the UAE and Cyprus, highlighting the keenness of the two sides to promote cooperation across various sectors.

During the meeting, the parties also discussed the role of Expo 2020 Dubai in enhancing cooperation and exploring promising opportunities for international partnerships, as well as promoting collective international action and stimulating global economic growth.

Sheikh Abdullah praised Cyprus’ participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, highlighting the importance of this global event in promoting international cooperation and supporting global efforts to achieve sustainable development in societies.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

President of Cyprus receives UAE Foreign Minister

President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus has received H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in the presence of Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus.

During the meeting, the parties reviewed friendship and joint cooperation between the UAE and the Republic of Cyprus and ways to further develop ties across various sectors.

Sheikh Abdullah conveyed to President Anastasiades the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their wishes for Cyprus further progress and development.

For his part, the President of Cyprus reciprocated his greetings to the UAE leaders, wishing the country further progress and prosperity.

The two sides also discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and the importance of enhancing security and stability in the region, and reviewed a number of issues of common interest in addition to the latest developments in the regional and international arenas.

During the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah commended the distinguished UAE-Cypriot relations, stressing the UAE’s aspiration to strengthen them and develop joint cooperation in all fields to meet the aspirations of the leaderships of the two countries.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

Syrian President receives H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed in Damascus

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has received H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Syrian capital.

The latest developments in the Middle East and Syria, in addition to a number of regional and international issues of common interest featured high during the meeting, which was held in the presence of Dr. Faisal Mekdad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates in Syria, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, Minister of Presidency Affairs, Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, and Ali Mohammed bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Chairman of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security.

The two sides also reviewed the prospects of enhancing bilateral relations between the two sisterly nations.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah conveyed to President Bashar the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their wishes for further stability, progress and prosperity in Syria.

The Syrian president reciprocated the greetings and underlined the strong bonds between the two fraternal nations. He also commended the objective positions adopted by the UAE.

For his part, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan underlined the UAE’s keenness on ensuring the security, stability and unity of sisterly Syria, and its support for all efforts made to end the Syrian crisis, consolidate stability in the country and meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for development, progress and prosperity.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

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Government

Baghdad Clashes Hurt 30 as Iran-Aligned Parties Dispute Iraq Vote Results

BAGHDAD — Clashes in Baghdad between Iraqi security forces and supporters of parties that are disputing the results of an October general election injured more than two dozen people on Friday, police sources and health workers said.

It was the first significant violent clash between government forces and supporters of the political parties, most of which have armed wings and are aligned with Iran, since those groups lost dozens of parliament seats after the October 10 vote.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition into the air as scores of the protesters threw stones and tried to advance towards Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, the security sources said.

More than 21 protesters were hurt mostly from smoke inhalation and another nine policeman injured from being pelted by stones, the hospital sources said.

The parties that made the biggest gains in Iraq’s October election include that of populist Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who publicly opposes Iranian interference in Iraqi politics and has called for all remaining Western troops to withdraw from the country.

The Iran-backed groups disputing the election result are also Shiite but follow an Iranian model of theocratic governance which the nationalist Sadr and many ordinary Iraqi Shiites reject.

Iraq’s majority Shiites have dominated government since the U.S.-led overthrow of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Sunnis and Iraqi Kurds, the next biggest religious and ethnic groups in Iraq, lead significant alliances in parliament.

The election result was seen as a rejection by voters of foreign influence, especially that of Iran.

The parties disputing the result say there were irregularities in the voting process and vote counting, but have not provided compelling evidence for their claims.

Source: Voice of America