NAT 230927 AMF GARGASH VSAKLANI-0162-1695812951446
Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President and Former Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, with moderator Lara Nabhan during a session on 'The Arab Region: Future Scenarios', on the second day of Arab Media Forum in Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The cornerstone of UAE’s foreign policy lies in ensuring stability for all, said Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President.

This commitment to stability forms the bedrock upon which the UAE’s diplomatic endeavours and international engagements are built, the veteran diplomat told attendees at the 21st edition of the Arab Media Forum on Wednesday.

“UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan indicated that there is no specific ceiling for friendships between countries, and we want our international relationship to be strengthened,” said Dr Gargash.

He also emphasised the need for partnerships to bolster foreign relations. “All countries are interested in common prosperity, and the UAE is the first mover and does not move without partners. We have creativity and innovation, but we are always looking for partners.”

Rooted in values

That said, the UAE also strongly emphasises values in its foreign policy. “While Islamic values are a fundamental part of its identity, the UAE also champions values like transparency. One noteworthy aspect of the UAE’s foreign policy is its commitment to empowering women, a cause it actively advocates for on the international stage,” said Dr Gargash.

Furthermore, the UAE places great importance on matters related to tolerance. “The UAE is home to hundreds of nationalities, and we cannot only speak in the language of numbers as the UAE’s environment is tolerant and open.”

The Arab Media Forum is being held in Dubai from September 26 to 27, as the region’s largest gathering for media professionals. Organised by the Dubai Press Club under the theme ‘The Future of Arab Media’, more than 3,000 delegates worldwide are participating in the AMF.

Economic corridors

In that context, Gargash also said that the UAE wants to foster more economic than political relationships. “The UAE seeks to develop its economy through various paths, including technology such as sustainability and artificial intelligence [AI],” he added.

The UAE has recently been actively engaging in open trade agreements with various countries. “These agreements have resulted from extensive discussions with various countries, playing a pivotal role in shaping the concept of economic routes. Notable partnerships include ones with China, Jordan, Israel, and Europe. However, the UAE’s ambitions extend beyond these partnerships, as it envisions establishing more economical routes, such as with Turkey and Africa, connecting to Europe,” he explained.

“We have ambitions, and its DNA is not only limited to economics and trade, but also logistics, and raises the slogan of prosperity.”

A united Arab world

According to an analysis, the Arab world appears to be experiencing a division with two distinct economic speeds.

“On one hand, the GCC countries are operating at a higher economic velocity, while many other Arab states are grappling with economic challenges. Sudan, for instance, is on the cusp of recovery but remains caught in a delicate military confrontation, potentially jeopardising its transformation,” Dr Gargash said.

Political stability and a commitment to fostering a free economy are paramount to addressing these issues. “Cooperation is key, and the partnership of countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia is indispensable,” he explained.

Dr Gargash also cited the example of the recent convergence of Arab policies regarding Syria. “For over a decade, Syria’s status within the Arab League has been a topic of concern and discussion. The UAE has played a pivotal role in the efforts to reintegrate Syria into the Arab community, a strategic decision driven by the shared understanding that stability in Syria is crucial for the entire region,” he said.

“We understand the importance of fostering cooperation, especially in times of crisis. To this end, we believe it’s crucial to revive and strengthen Arab cooperation,” Dr Gargash stated.

A successful COP28

Commenting on the upcoming COP28, Dr Gargash said the UAE will engage in discussions on the financial aspects of the energy crucial transition, especially concerning the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“By collaborating with other partners under the COP umbrella, including those involved in forestry and agriculture, we aim to address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change.”

He said COP28 is one of the most important conferences in the UAE. “This event is not just about the UAE; it pertains to a global cause that demands collective progress,” he said.

UAE’s efforts to mitigate the climate crisis include a broad spectrum of initiatives, including solar and nuclear energy. “We recognise that these actions are integral to the global transition toward sustainability,” he added.