(MENAFN) In a momentous diplomatic event, Russian President Vladimir Putin has touched down in Abu Dhabi for his first visit to the United Arab Emirates since 2019. The meeting commenced with a warm welcome from United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who referred to Putin as a "dear friend" and expressed his happiness at the reunion. The two leaders previously met in June at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where President Al Nahyan was honored as a guest.
President Al Nahyan highlighted the exceptional progress in Moscow-Abu Dhabi relations, characterizing the United Arab Emirates as Russia's largest trading partner in the Arab world. As a symbolic gesture, Emirati military jets painted the Russian tricolor in the skies above the capital to announce Putin's arrival. The motorcade, escorted by camel riders and horse-mounted officers, proceeded from the airport to the presidential palace, showcasing the grandeur of the occasion.
The Kremlin, in an earlier statement, outlined the agenda for discussions between the leaders. Topics include exploring the potential for further development of the multifaceted Russia-United Arab Emirates cooperation and addressing pressing international issues, with a particular focus on the Middle East situation.
The negotiations in Abu Dhabi are slated to unfold in both extended and one-on-one formats, according to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov. Accompanying President Putin is a high-profile delegation, featuring Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak, Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, and the heads of Russia's atomic and space agencies.
This historic meeting not only signifies the strengthening of bilateral ties between Russia and the United Arab Emirates but also underscores the strategic importance of their collaboration on regional and global issues. The discussions are expected to shape the trajectory of future cooperation while addressing key challenges in the dynamic landscape of the Middle East.
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