(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 4:43 PM
Last updated: Wed 27 Sep 2023, 8:12 PM
Regional or economic stability cannot be attained in isolation, emphasised a veteran UAE diplomat.
Shedding light on the three pillars of the UAE's foreign policy, which is built upon the foundations of stability, strong geo-economic connections, a dedication to open trade, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President stressed the importance of“interconnectedness” and working with partners during a key session at the 21st Arab Media Forum.
Three pillars of foreign policy
”This pillar is stability. This stability is not just for the UAE but for the entire region as this cannot be achieved in isolation. There is a need to calm the region, and not focus on disagreements. Confrontation leads to a high price for all parties. So, the first pillar is stability, and this is an established fact. The second pillar is geo-economic more than a geo-strategic. Economic growth is important.”
He said that the UAE is a small country yet is a growing power. Shedding light on the third pillar, he says development also hinges on economic policies that rely on interconnectedness and free trade.
Gargash pointed out that the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, indicated that there is no specific ceiling for friendships between countries.“He said we want our international relationship to be strengthened, and we want our relationship to be more economic than political.”
“The UAE has broken the GDP record. It is visible through the open trade agreements or the open trade policy which is a vessel for economic growth. Our foreign policy is closely aligned with our collaborative efforts alongside our partners. Despite not being a large nation, we have the capacity for innovation and can initiate actions, but it is essential that we work in tandem with our allies. The formula of Arab cooperation must be restored, far from the old formulation. The UAE does not move on any issue on its own. We need to work with partners, and this conviction is very important.”
Referring to the growth of trade between the UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gargash highlighted how economic cooperation is seminal – not just with Gulf countries but also with other countries in the East.
He pointed out that the UAE focuses on elevating the economy by identifying alternative avenues.
“Our focus extends to areas such as water resources, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and various other technological concerns as well. I attended a meeting in Holland and the major discussion was about economic cooperation only 10 per cent of the discussion revolved around political talks.”
Upholding Arab values
Gargash also stressed the importance of women's presence and participation in the fields of economics and diplomacy.
He said,“Our success also lies in empowering women. In international matters, we must see representation of women both in matters of economy and diplomacy. Women must be a key component of our forum and we must enhance all matters related to tolerance. We cannot manage development with the oppression of women. Respecting diversity is an integral part of our forums, and this is directly related to human rights.”
Talking about the diverse landscape of the UAE which is home to different nationalities, he added,“The UAE has hundreds of nationalities, and we cannot speak only in the language of numbers, as the UAE's environment is tolerant and open.”
Successful versus struggling
While responding to a query on the growing economies of the Arab world, he stressed that“free economy and social openness” is important.
“The Arab world today is built on economies moving at two different speeds. GCC countries are at a different speed and many Arab states are seen struggling. Our role is not to give advice to older Arab states, but we can showcase our work. We must respect 'free economy' and social openness is important.”
COP28 to showcase country's commitment to climate action
Meanwhile, talking about the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) the former UAE envoy said it would serve as a worldwide platform for the UAE to demonstrate its dedication and 'leave its indelible mark' in promoting the climate agenda.
“I am confident that COP28 will be a significant assembly, tackling the challenges and crises that have arisen in locations such as Libya and various other nations. Our aim is to explore potential solutions for this 'humanitarian crisis'. COP 28 will undoubtedly stand as another testament to humanity's efforts in addressing these issues, with the UAE making a notable contribution and leaving its stamp,” he added.
COP28: UAE to 'leave its indelible mark' on global climate action, says top diplomat
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