Cairo: The UAE has reaffirmed its inherent right to self-defence in response to armed aggression and to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity under international law, reiterating that the attacks perpetrated by terror groups will not proceed without a comprehensive response, and that the UAE has the legal and moral right to prevent terrorism from threatening its soil.
This came in a speech delivered by Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, during the 157th ordinary session of the Arab League Council, which was held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo at the foreign ministerial level.
Al Marar, who headed the UAE delegation, added that the UAE has faced vicious terrorist attacks by the terrorist Houthi militias that targeted civil areas and objects and led to civilian casualties and in-kind losses. Similarly, Houthi terrorist attacks on civilian objects in Saudi Arabia have continued, he added, referring to the large number of ballistic missiles and drones used in Houthi aggression.
He stressed that the vigilance and readiness of the UAE Armed Forces and their professionalism in confronting these attempts have thwarted large-scale terrorist operations that targeted the more than 200 nationalities living in the UAE, noting that over “two million citizens from brotherly Arab countries are living in the UAE.”
“We express our deep thanks to brotherly Arab countries for standing in solidarity with us and for the unanimous issuance of Resolution No. 8725 during the extraordinary session of the Arab League Council on January 23, 2022. We affirm once again that the attacks carried out by the terrorist Houthi militia represent a flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law and pose a threat to regional and international peace and security.”
He also highlighted in this respect the unanimous statement issued by the UN Security Council and Resolution No. 2624 (2022) issued on February 28, which branded the Houthi militia as the “Houthi terrorist group,” thereby subjecting the Houthi militias to an arms embargo.
The minister stressed that the UAE has sufficient capabilities to protect its people and residents to ensure they may live in safety and security. He also pointed out that the terrorist Houthi militia would not have continued their aggression, crimes, intransigence and rejection of peaceful solutions to the Yemeni crisis had it not been for the flow of weapons from Iran in blatant violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. “Nor would they have continued their aggression but for the indifference and failure of the international community to take a decisive position toward these terrorist groups continuing their evil acts,” he added.
He underlined the importance of continuing to call on all countries to designate the Houthi militias as a terrorist entity, noting that such a designation would not disrupt humanitarian support to the people of Yemen or interfere with “our endeavours to reach a ceasefire agreement and political solution to the conflict.”
“At a time of heightened anxiety and tension due to the situation in Ukraine, it is necessary to emphasise giving priority to protecting civilians, respecting international humanitarian law, and upholding the principles of peace and stability at the regional and international levels,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of the UAE as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and as President of the Council for the month of March 2022, to make all possible efforts to stop hostilities, reduce escalation and return to dialogue and negotiations to reach a peaceful solution to this conflict and to avoid further polarisation and tension out of our belief that all parties share a common responsibly in times of crisis to pursue the most successful means of securing peaceful solutions and creating a stable environment for regional and international security, based on the right of all states to enjoy security, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”
He pointed out that existing tensions at the international level should not diminish the importance of strengthening the Arab position and joint Arab action to push for political solutions to ongoing crises in the region.
He also affirmed that the UAE renews its call for Iran to respond to the UAE’s repeated initiatives for a peaceful solution to the issue of the three Emirati islands occupied by Iran: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, through direct negotiations or by resorting to the International Court of Justice.
The minister reiterated the UAE’s firm position in supporting the creation of a Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with relevant international resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the two-state solution. He noted the UAE’s support for all regional and international efforts to advance the peace process on the Palestinian track to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.
On the Yemeni issue, the minister underscored the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the importance of achieving a comprehensive ceasefire and resuming talks between Yemeni parties based on the peace initiative submitted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia according to the three references: the Gulf Initiative, the outcomes of the Yemeni National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council resolutions on security, especially Resolution 2216. He also stressed that the terrorist Houthi militia and its supporters should be held accountable for the continuation of the war, noting that the international community must take a firm stance and exert solid pressure on the Houthi terrorist group to compel it to accept peace and end the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people.
With regards to the Syrian crisis, the minister pointed out the importance of pursuing an active Arab role in efforts to reach a political solution while helping Syria return to the Arab fold and rejecting regional interference in Syria.
With regards to the Libyan issue, Al Marar said that the UAE firmly believes that political and diplomatic solutions are the best and only way to end the conflict in a manner that preserves the achievements made and the aspirations of the Libyan people to build a secure and prosperous future.
On the Iraqi issue, the minister renewed the UAE’s support for all efforts to achieve security, stability and prosperity for Iraq and its people in the face of foreign interference in its internal affairs and attempts to undermine its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. He added that the UAE welcomes the news that the United Nations Compensation Commission has fulfilled its mandate in processing claims and paying compensation for losses and damage suffered by Kuwait as a result of Iraq’s invasion in 1990. He expressed his hope that building on such positive steps would continue to end outstanding issues between the Kuwait and Iraq.
Al Marar reiterated the UAE’s support for all efforts aimed at achieving security and stability in Sudan, making the transitional phase successful, achieving development and prosperity, fulfilling the urgent needs of the brotherly Sudanese people, and overcoming the challenges they face in achieving their aspirations.
He added: “We are looking forward to the peaceful and successful completion by the Government of Somalia of the electoral process in a way that enables the brotherly Somali people to overcome challenges and devote themselves to achieving security, development, stability and countering terrorism.”
The minister affirmed the UAE will continue to work towards achieving peace, promoting a culture of tolerance, moderation and peaceful coexistence among peoples, rejecting violence, extremism and hatred while prioritizing dialogue, reason, diplomacy and political solutions between countries, and building bridges of communication and understanding to achieve stability and prosperity in the region.
During the meeting, the participating ministers discussed regional and international developments and files of common interest.