(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
BRASILIA, 16th March, 2019 (WAM) - H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met here on Saturday with Ernesto Araujo, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Sheikh Abdullah lauded the growing ties between the UAE and Brazil, thanks to the unlimited support of their leadership, and the two countries' keenness to develop cooperation in all fields.
Ernesto Araujo welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit to Brazil and commended the progressive relations between the two countries. He also praised the status gained by the UAE in regional and international arenas.
Following the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and Araujo signed a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, MoUs, including agreements between the governments of the UAE and Brazil on cooperation and facilitating investments; mutual extradition of criminals; and mutual legal assistance on criminal cases. An MoU on cooperation in tourism was signed between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism.
At the beginning of the joint press conference, Sheikh Abdullah expressed his pleasure at the developing relations between the two countries. He said this was his sixth visit to Brazil since Ernesto Araujo became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
"Bilateral trade has reached US$3 billion. We know this figure is very low in the light of several opportunities and the true desire of the two countries to conclude important agreements related to commercial and investment aspects. The agreements will certainly boost opportunities for increasing commercial cooperation, given that the UAE is a hub for goods transportation across East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia."
He pointed out that there is an enthusiasm to diversify cooperation to focus also on tourism, especially after waiving the visa requirement for the citizens of the two countries. He added that 2017 figures showed that some 76,000 Brazilian citizens live in the UAE, while 6,000 Emirati citizens visited Brazil in the same year. There are also 19 direct flights between the two countries every week.
Sheikh Abdullah expressed the hope that Brazil will make a strong presence during Expo 2020 Dubai.
He also expressed the hope that Brazil will benefit from the UAE's logistical capabilities in transporting Brazilian goods to the different parts of the world like East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
He extended an invitation to the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the UAE, saying, "We have a long list of tasks to work on."
On the recent terrorist attack in New Zealand, Sheikh Abdullah said, "Our sympathy goes to the government and people of New Zealand following the heinous terrorist attack that took place in the past hours.
"We are confident that the government of New Zealand will take all necessary measures to deal with this act of terror and its perpetrators. We support the government of New Zealand in all steps taken."
Sheikh Abdullah also stressed the need to rally international community efforts against terrorism and extremism and to counter sedition and hate.
"The UAE respects international law, the sovereignty of states and the human values. We are with New Zealand and we should stand united. We ask Allah Almighty to grant those who lost their loved one's courage and peace," he said in conclusion.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs hosted a luncheon in honour of Sheikh Abdullah and his accompanying delegation.
The meeting was attended by Hafsa Abdullah Mohammed Sharif Al Olama, the UAE Ambassador to Brazil.