UK Ambassador to UAE Patrick Moody
UK Ambassador to UAE Patrick Moody Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: The UK mission has delivered a heart-warming message of appreciation to the UAE, as well as to its British citizens who decided to continue staying in the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a televised statement to Sharjah TV on Saturday night, the British Ambassador to the UAE Patrick Moody thanked the UAE government not only in the repatriation of its citizens, but also for extending its hand abroad and offering assistance to the healthcare system in London.

“Yesterday, normally, I would have been celebrating the Queen’s birthday party, together with all the Emiratis and British citizens who’ve helped build our bilateral relationship during the last year. Instead, like many of you, I was working from home.”

Queen Elizabeth's 94th birthday was on April 21. In the UK, it is traditionally marked with a 21-gun salute at Windsor Castle but due to COVID-19, the ceremony was cancelled this year for the first time in 68 years.

“But it is in these testing times that you find out who you’re true friends are, and the UAE is being a true friend to the UK. The UAE has been helping us repatriate citizens, not just from the UAE but around the world. And the UAE has been incredibly generous in helping strengthen the health system in the UK.

"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales took the opportunity to thank His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales took the opportunity to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for this earlier this week," said Moody.

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"We will continue to work together, not just on strengthening each other’s health systems but also on the whole global response to the pandemic. I also wanted to say thank you to the British community living here in the UAE… thank you for following the government advice, thank you for those individuals and companies that help strengthen the UAE response.”

Earlier this month, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on transit flights for British nationals during the COVID-19 emergency period.

The MoU stipulates that the two countries are ready to facilitate the movement of nationals of the two countries in emergencies. It provides a comprehensive framework between the UAE and the United Kingdom to facilitate the operation of transit flights for the repatriation of British nationals during the COVID-19 emergency period.

The MoU will contribute to facilitating the repatriation of British nationals to their homeland, by allowing flights that carry them to transit through UAE airports en route to the United Kingdom, and providing the necessary services and facilities to them, while maintaining precautionary and preventive measures and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the UAE.