SHARM EL SHEIKH, 25th February, 2019 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, who is heading the UAE delegation at the Arab-European Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, said that the UAE is the model of an optimistic future based on tolerance and coexistence, and is constantly providing security, stability, progressiveness and growth.
Sheikh Hamad conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan while appreciating the efforts of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, to hold the first Arab-European Summit, which aims to discuss the relations between Arab and European countries, to elevate them beyond coordination and harmony and face common challenges.
Sheikh Hamad highlighted the visit of Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE, and his recent meeting with Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, in Abu Dhabi, which was a historic occasion that aimed to promote tolerance, understand religious conversation and cultural coexistence, to create a better future for humanity, free from extremism and terrorism.
“The UAE has strong economic and trade relations with the European Union, EU, countries, and there is considerable investment between the two sides in all sectors. But we can see that there are further opportunities and successful experiences,” he said.
Sheikh Hamad pointed out that their most serious challenge is the spread of extremism and terrorism, which still exist despite the victories against those organisations while pointing out that confrontations on all fronts should be continued until all their resources are exhausted. “We affirm our condemnation of all acts of terrorism, regardless of their source and justification. We appreciate the efforts of the EU and its member states to fight terrorism,” he added.
Sheikh Hamad also called for the reclamation of the three Emirati islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which are occupied by Iran, as well as for resolving this dispute with Iran by peaceful means, through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice.
He then reviewed the Yemeni crisis and highlighted the intransigence of the Houthi militias and their ongoing violations, which have undermined the efforts to reach a solution, as well as the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanisms, the outcomes of the comprehensive national dialogue and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, most notably Resolution 2216.
Sheikh Hamad affirmed that the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen has confirmed that the only way to solve the Yemeni crisis is to reach a political solution through the UN while pointing out that the Middle East Peace Process has reached a critical stage, which requires greater efforts to resolve the issue.
Sheikh Hamad also highlighted the importance of respecting the special status of the city of Jerusalem and rejecting any unilateral measures regarding its legal status. He also valued the EU’s support for the Arab position on Jerusalem.
Sheikh Hamad stressed the importance of effective Arab participation in the international efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis, according to the Geneva Declaration and under the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, as well as the need to preserve Syria’s territorial integrity.
He also mentioned the UAE’s efforts to end the Libyan crisis and its support for the UN’s plan to reach a political process, which will secure the unity of the Libyan people and help the country escape its current crisis.
“We hope that this summit will be a starting point for strengthening the economic, technical, cultural and scientific cooperation between all Arab countries and EU member states, as well as for forging partnerships between the two sides, to create more harmonious ties and establish lasting strategic relations,” he said in conclusion.