The UAE should continue to work to improve ties with Iran, Israel and Turkey while protecting its own interests, a senior Emirati diplomat has said.
dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, addressed the second session of the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed entitled “Security and Stability in Our Changing World: A UAE Perspective”.
He said the UAE’s power lies in forging and maintaining regional alliances with all countries, including Iran, Turkey and Israel.
He said in an evolving world order, the rise of countries like China and India will reduce US dominance.
It will be more multi-polar and less dominated by Western countries.
“There is a need in the region to settle issues peacefully with countries that have different strategies and views, by working on common ground and putting differences aside,” said Dr. gargash
“For example, Iran is a neighbor and we hope to establish the best relations with it. We see Turkey as a partner in our quest for prosperity and we continue to support the prospects of the Abraham Accords.
“The UAE will not be involved in anything that harms its neighbors, especially Iran. We will always resort to diplomacy, negotiation and economic cooperation.
“The sovereignty of states must be respected and the use of force in regional relations and the role of armed militias must be absolutely rejected.
“We should work to advance regional joint cooperation to promote stability and prosperity, and build platforms to enhance investment, dialogue and cooperation between the parties.
“We must always keep our options open and choose our course of action to protect our national interests, security and stability. In this way we will manage to maintain friendships and build new relationships.”
dr Gargash said the UAE continues to face challenges and regional coalitions are needed to advance UAE interests.
He referred to the recent Houthi attacks on the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, which he described as a “red line”.
“Despite our great achievements, we must be fully aware that living in a changing world and a complex region, we must overcome many challenges to maintain this success. The UAE’s secret of success lies in their ability to identify challenges, deal with them and turn them into opportunities,” he said.
“We face many challenges in our region, and perhaps the terrorist attacks that targeted our country on January 17 this year are just one example.
“The interests of the UAE prevail over all other considerations and our focus is always on our purely national interests.”
dr Gargash said the recent attacks have caused the UAE to reconsider and reassess the effectiveness of the country’s alliances.
“We were able to thwart these terrorist attacks, but it was necessary to examine the nature of our relationships and alliances and determine where we stand,” he said.
“Militias have made the region more complex. The increased use of missiles and drones poses a significant risk and could escalate tensions in the region.
“Our focus is on how to protect and thrive. [We] must not jeopardize the interests of the UAE, which are paramount.
“It is no secret that UAE policy in the coming decades will focus on protecting our country by building an efficient and professional military, building strong partnerships and focusing on economic development.
“Our foreign policy will focus on building bridges, settling disputes and building partnerships.”
dr Gargash also called for a ceasefire and an immediate diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis.
“It is important to call for a ceasefire and a quick political solution to avoid further serious setbacks. At this point I would like to add that this Ukraine crisis will not be the last in an international order that is used to crises.”
He said the turmoil in the region continued and it was important to settle differences.
“It is important for the UAE to monitor changes in the international order. This also helps the UAE to adjust its policies.”
The lectures at the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis are held every Ramadan to encourage learning and reflection.
Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed moderated the presentation.
Tuesday’s lecture will be broadcast on Thursday, April 14 at 5:50 p.m. on Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis’ YouTube channel, Al Emarat TV and other local TV channels.
Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis was established in 2006 at the direction of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to provide a platform for meaningful discussion during the holy month.
First lecture at Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed 2022 – in pictures
Updated April 14, 2022 at 4:05 p.m