The official and local reception that accompanied the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Austria undoubtedly speaks volumes of the global community's appreciation of the UAE, its wise leadership, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.
An appreciation which Austria's Federal Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, conveyed by stating that the visit is an important phase in strengthening and consolidating ties between the two countries, describing it as "a source of great pleasure and honour".
This special relationship was epitomised in the official reception ceremony organised for the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and the event's coverage by Austria's official local media, which highlighted the exceptional arrangements that the official Austrian authorities' made, reflecting their great interest in the visit.
It was remarkable to see the live coverage of the visit and the signing of the partnership agreement by local Austrian television channels, which rarely happens on such occasions.
Model of bilateral relations
Spanning nearly half a century, the UAE-Austria relations have always been a model of bilateral relations, and were described by local Austrian newspapers such as Die Presse and Der Standard as an unprecedented qualitative relationship, which was consolidated by this visit, both in terms of outputs and the official and public interest it attracted.
This is also supported by the fact that the UAE's strategic location in the GCC region makes it an ideal launch pad for Austrian companies to branch into new markets.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's visit to Austria complements the strong bilateral relations that the two countries share in all fields, which the Crown Prince asserted upon his arrival in Vienna by saying, "I discussed with my friend, Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, ways of strengthening the historical relationship between our countries... Announcing our plans to develop this relationship into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership marks a new phase that will bring about broader prospects for developing new avenues of collaboration and establishing partnerships in various fields."
The Austrian Chancellor also referred to the UAE as one of Austria's "most important partners in the Arab region" and "most important economic partner in the Arab World", which resonated with Austria's local media, leading them to cite Sheikh Mohamed's visit as the most important visit made by an Arab leader.
Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi is the Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM)