H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the rapid response shown by the UAE and Bahrain toward the fallout of the COVID-19 is a model to be emulated for cooperation between regional and international partners.
Sheikh Abdullah made the statements while co-chairing with Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr Abdulatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the 9th session of the Joint UAE-Bahrain Committee, which convened virtually today.
“The 9th session of the Joint UAE-Bahrain Committee is convening under exceptional circumstances that have contributed to enhancing collaboration between the two fraternal nations,” Sheikh Abdullah said, adding that the UAE is looking forward to growing cooperation with the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to survive the current crisis.
“The UAE and Bahrain enjoy longstanding and deeply rooted relations that were existent even before the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1971 thanks to the gracious support of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brother late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Today the bilateral relations enjoy the full support and care of the leadership of the two nations under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, of Bahrain,” Sheikh Abdullah added.
“The tireless efforts made by the two nations through the joint committee have advanced the bilateral economic ties, with our non-oil trade volume growing over the past years from $4.6 bn in 2017 to $7.8 bn in 2019,” the UAE top diplomat said, signalling the multi-billion dollars of investment flows between the two sides over the past years across various domains.
He highlighted the achievements made by the two countries in the field of aviation, and congratulated the Kingdom on the opening of the new terminal of the Bahrain International Airport. Sheikh Abdullah in this respect called on the relevant authorities in the two countries to review accelerating flights between the two nations specially, he said, in the light of the potential return to normalcy soon.
“We are looking forward to fostering cooperation across various strategic sectors, primarily, health, technology, AI, and renewable energy. We’re also looking forward to the Kingdom’s support for UAE’s nomination for the membership of a number of international and multilateral organisations, including the membership of the International Maritime Organistion – Category-B for 2022-2023 during the elections which will run in London this year.”
In UAE, Sheikh Abdullah continued, “we are determined to keep our bilateral relations, not only developing and well-established but also dynamic. There are several opportunities up for grab for us to come closer during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore we have to continue working and looking for new prospects for developing these relations and build on the directives made by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa and His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa, as the two sides share the same common will to develop our relations across all fronts.
“We wish the working teams of the ministries of foreign affairs in the two countries and other departments and authorities concerned to tirelessly endeavour to develop these relations and look for opening up new horizons for cooperation.”
The two top diplomats signed the minutes of meeting of the 9th session of the joint committee.
At the end of the meeting, the two ministers signed three MoUs. The first involved the UAE Committee for Goods and Material Subjected to Import and Export Control, and the Bahraini National Committee on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapon and on their Destruction. The second is for cooperation in the media field, while the third involved the UAE Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution and Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve in Bahrain.
They also signed two executive programmes between the two countries, namely the Executive Programme in the Field of Electricity and Water 2021-2023 and the Executive Programme in the Field of Environmental Protection and Climate Affairs 2021-2023.
In attendance were Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Ambassador to Bahrain, Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, and Abdul Nasser Al Shaali, Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs