HomeMEDIA RESOURCES20088 October 2008 - AT A NATO PA SEMINAR AIMED AT PROMOTING DIALOGUE, MINISTER GARGASH EMPHASIZES UAE FOREIGN POLICY’S COMMITMENT TO DIPLOMACY, NEGOTIATION AND COMPASSION [JOINT STATEMENT]
8 October 2008 - AT A NATO PA SEMINAR AIMED AT PROMOTING DIALOGUE, MINISTER GARGASH EMPHASIZES UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FOREIGN POLICY COMMITMENT TO DIPLOMACY, NEGOTIATION AND COMPASSION [JOINT STATEMENT]
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs opens a NATO Parliamentary Assembly seminar in Abu Dhabi by reiterating the country’s commitment to Afghanistan, Iraq and global security.
Abu Dhabi, 8 October 2008 – In an event organized by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group, in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs, HE Minister Anwar Gargash, emphasized the importance of consultation and cooperation in today’s increasingly interconnected world, as the UAE continues to champion both processes. Minister Gargash gave this statement at the opening session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly seminar entitled “the Middle East and the Global Challenges”, which took place in Abu Dhabi today.
In an address to representatives from more than 15 NATO member nations and to legislators from the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Gargash also reiterated the UAE’s commitment to building bridges and partnerships around the world, promoting dialogue and providing aid to less fortunate countries.
“To understand the UAE, one must understand our traditions and policies which are based on development, stability and tolerance,” Dr. Gargash said. “The UAE’s foreign policy has always emphasized the route of diplomacy, negotiation and compassion.”
Dr. Gargash also reiterated the nation’s resolve to secure peace and stability in Afghanistan, Iraq and the wider Middle East, its condemnation of all acts of terrorism and its commitment to openness and transparency.
More than 50 parliamentarians, officials from international organizations and representatives from government, academia, civil society and the media have gathered at the Emirates Palace hotel for the two-day NATO Parliamentary Assembly special seminar on “The Middle East and Global Challenges.”
Jose Lello, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, also addressed today’s inaugural ceremony and thanked the UAE government for hosting the seminar in an increasingly important part of the world. The event, he added, would contribute to stronger ties between the Alliance members and the Gulf region.
“Our relations with this region have great potential for showing how our respective security perceptions converge, and for providing a parliamentary complement to NATO’s initiatives,” Mr. Lello said. “I hope that this seminar in Abu Dhabi will allow us to bring our discussions beyond the scope of NATO’s agenda and to explore the perspectives of political reform in the Middle East, as well as the potential of inter-cultural dialogue.”
The first day of the two-day event focused on political reform in the Middle East and the Gulf’s role in the global energy security challenge, with speakers including His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Speaker of the Federal National Council of the UAE; Ambassador Ahmed Benhelli, Assistant Secretary General of the League of Arab States; Marina Ottaway, Director of the Middle East programme at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent representative of the UAE at the IAEA and Special Representative for International Nuclear Co-operation.
Tomorrow’s sessions will focus on Gulf security perceptions and the role of NATO in the region, as well as on initiatives and obstacles in the area of inter cultural dialogue. The speaker line-up includes Scott Ritter, former chief UN inspector in Iraq; Michael Gaul, Deputy Director, Defense and Security Economics Directorate, NATO HQ; Maha Akeel, Managing Editor of the Journal of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Ilter Turan, Professor of Political Science at Bilgi University in Istanbul.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group provides a forum for parliamentarians from NATO member countries and their counterparts in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa to discuss common security and political issues. The UAE Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs has a mandate to promote political awareness in the region.