Since its establishment on December 2, 1971 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates has adopted a rational foreign policy based on the principles and charter of the United Nations. It has a stance that abides by the laws and customs on which international legitimacy is based. This consistent approach has always characterised the UAE’s relations with all countries of the world. Therefore, the recent speech delivered by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the United Nations General Assembly, expressed the trends that represent the basic framework for Emirati diplomacy, which is characterised by a tremendous extent of dynamism, effectiveness and the ability to move outside the frameworks of traditionalism and stereotyping.
It was natural for the speech to focus heavily on addressing the UAE’s vision for the historic peace treaty with Israel, and how it aims to open new horizons and paths for future generations, by laying solid foundations for coexistence, openness and real acceptance of the other.
The Emirati vision for the present and the future is based on interconnected principles and foundations, foremost of which is the need to resolve conflicts by peaceful means, openness, pluralism, and acceptance of the other. The closed, unilateral visions have aggravated the Palestinian cause.
It was very important for the UAE to confirm the real causes of the current crises in the region, which has been afflicted with many conflicts and areas of chaos that have spread in several countries. The UAE Foreign Minister’s speech is clear and revealing about the warning against the expansionist ambitions of some regional countries that live in historical delusions, which prompted them to blatant military interventions in several Arab countries, believing that the current Arab strategic weakness could be the gateway to rewriting history, redrawing maps and re-engineering the region according to their interests and goals!
Sheikh Abdullah explained the UAE vision, “These warnings came out of our reality and our experience, as the flash points in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and others are linked to crude interference in Arab affairs by countries that carry the fuse of sedition or historical illusions to re-establish control and colonialism over the Arab region and the Horn of Africa, causing bloody wars.”
The UAE’s affirmation of its support to the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding a ceasefire around the world is a clear reflection of the deep strategic awareness of the danger of continuing conflicts, disagreements, wars and crises, and their coincidence with unconventional threats, foremost among which is the outbreak of epidemics, as various countries and regions of the world suffer from an unprecedented spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 35 million people so far, and caused the death of more than one million people.
The UAE’s strategic vision is based on respecting the sovereignty of States and preserving the interests of the peoples. It calls for peace and stability in Yemen and believes that “the current climate may be appropriate for reaching a comprehensive ceasefire and a permanent political solution under the auspices of the United Nations,” and it calls for “uniting the Yemeni ranks to reach towards a sustainable solution, ”and supports“ the repeated calls for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, and we call on all parties to adhere to the political process under the auspices of the United Nations and build on the outcomes of Berlin ”and stress the continuation of the call and work to reach a peaceful political solution to the crisis to achieve lasting security and stability in This Arab country. The speech also stated the need to stop foreign interference in Syrian affairs, and to emphasise that “the political process is the only way to end the crisis, and to preserve the security of the Syrian people.”
The UAE drew the attention of the world to a very important and dangerous issue, which is to warn against the exposure of conflict areas to the pandemic, considering these areas as less prepared for this danger, which puts the residents of these areas and the world at large at risk.
The UAE stresses that the three occupied islands (Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa) must be returned by Iran. The country continues its support of the Palestinian people and their just cause. Sheikh Abdulla’s UN speech silenced those who doubt the UAE’s stance towards the Palestinian people. The country reiterated “the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the relevant international decisions and in line with the Arab and international consensus”.
The speech was a reflection of the depth of faith in human and civilised principles and values. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation noted, “These critical times require countries to put aside their differences and strengthen cooperation between them to develop and provide vaccines and treatment for all peoples.”
The UAE, with all its weight, role and position seeks to build a tolerant world free of conflicts and crises and secure societies. It believes in coexistence and dialogue and seeks to run for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the period 2022-2023 in the interest of international security and stability.
Dr Salem Al Ketbi is an Emirati political analyst, researcher and opinion writer