Wednesday, 14 April 2021 10:32 GMT

President Khalifa of UAE addresses the nation on ND 2 Abu Dhabi

(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency)
Economic growth, despite its importance and priority, is not an end in itself; it is rather a means to make life more balanced and moderate. A development that does not integrate the cultural dimension is not sustainable. The integration of culture into our development strategies is one of the factors of success of our experiment, which has devised legislation that blends authenticity with modernity and has implemented policies that nurture literature and the arts as well as encouraging national innovative and intellectual production and cultural industries. Based on this, the state pays attention to heritage as a 'national treasure', a linchpin of identity and a source of social cohesion.
For all these reasons, we recognise and appreciate cultural and human diversity, which we consider a key engine for sustainable development and a means for deepening the culture of openness, dialogue, communication and coexistence, and the denunciation of intolerance, extremism and intellectual isolation. To advance this approach, we launched the National Programme for Tolerance and created a ministry specifically for that purpose and also issued the Anti-Discriminatory Law, which criminalises all forms of discrimination and hatred on the grounds of religion, creed, doctrine, sect, race, colour or language. We also issued a law to combat crimes of terrorism.
For the delivery of these same objectives, we give top priority to justice because there is no stability or investment without the rule of law and justice to enforce the law and to commit to its procedures. We are proud of our judicial system that protects rights and freedoms as well as of the efforts being exerted to enhance its efficiency to become flexible and responsive to the current world developments so as to facilitate litigation proceedings and enhance the successes achieved by our state as an attractive haven for businesses, tourism and investment.
The experiment has proven the soundness of the approach adopted by our foreign policy since the establishment of the state, which is characterised by an active vibrancy and presence at regional and international scenes to serve our national interests, to safeguard the state's sovereignty, to activate the GCC system, to advance efforts towards Arab integration and to contribute towards the emergence of a more just and fair international order in addition to positive participation in whatever effort that strengthens international cooperation to confront the common challenges.
In committing to this policy, we once again call on the Iranian government to sit at the negotiating table for dialogue or to accept international arbitration to resolve the issue of our three occupied islands as part of efforts to maintain security and stability in the Arabian Gulf region - a top priority in our policy. We also renew our rejection of any foreign interference undermining our security or security and the stability of our brethren in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or any other sisterly or friendly state. We also reiterate that extremism and terrorism - from which our region suffers - are fed by policies motivated by ambitions for hegemony and adventures for influence from states supporting and financing terrorist and extremist groups. Therefore, there can be no exit from this dark tunnel without a collective consensus that prevents any party whatsoever to disrupt regional and international efforts to realise stability, and which allows countries to take vehement counter-terrorism stances, and to adopt joint measures to hold the sponsors, financiers and supporters of terrorism to account. In addition to that, international efforts should be concerted to put an end to the seven-decade long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories and to create the suitable conditions for the resumption of the Middle East peace process. While we reiterate our support for the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of their independent state, we also strongly condemn the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Elsewhere, we voice our deep concern over the conditions of the Muslim Rohingya, who fled Myanmar, and demand active, collective international action to protect them and to put an end to this human tragedy.
We in the United Arab Emirates are at the forefront of the efforts aimed at restoring security and stability in sisterly Yemen, at returning Egypt to its natural leading role in the Arab World, and at restoring security and stability to Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan and others. We are also among the countries that support efforts aimed at making the Middle East a region free from weapons of mass destructions.
12:46 LOCAL TIME 09:46 GMT


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