Dubai: From the early challenges of establishing the UAE, to overcoming the pandemic and even defying terrorism, the advanced planning by the country’s leaders made the impossible always possible, said Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Wednesday.
Sheikh Saif also said during his keynote on the summit’s last day that UAE doesn’t play politics when dealing with terrorism.
“Terrorism targets not only the UAE but all of humanity. UAE doesn’t deal with terrorism through any political agenda and nor should anyone else, in order to protect humanity.”
He said that despite the COVID-19 crisis and terrorism threats, the UAE came second worldwide in residents’ trust in government and first in safety worldwide, according to recent rankings.
“Terrorism targeted the UAE with drones and ballistic missiles but the Emirati forces intercepted 94 per cent of the rockets. It was an inhumane and unethical attack that resulted in three deaths of the sons of the UAE. But the answer came quickly,” said Sheikh Saif.
He added that the UAE stock market rose during the week of Houthi attacks by 15 per cent. “Countries are measured on their continuity of life, achievements and work. [His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] was in a meeting with his cabinet during the rocket attack and nobody stepped outside the meeting. Throughout history, terrorism never won, and yes, we can defeat terrorism.”
Having solid planning and wise leadership in the UAE made the country overcome many challenges since the beginning in 1971, he added.
“The vision of the late Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid established a country in the desert. In 2008, the government placed a clear strategy for the coming 50 years. That wise planning made UAE overcome many challenges.”
He said that during pandemic, the media attacked the UAE for the precautionary measures to curb the pandemic, but the decisions by UAE’s leaders boosted the trust of the nation in their government.
“Some world leaders and politicians called to stop the tests or even told their nation to say goodbye to their beloved people. The result was conflicts, fear and queues of people for food and medicine in many countries, but UAE made the impossible possible,” said Sheikh Saif.
He shared a clip during his keynote showing Emiratis and residents chanting the UAE National Anthem from balconies and their homes during the movement restrictions in place in the early stages of the pandemic. During that time, he added, some countries abandoned their people while UAE evacuated more than 5,000 people trapped in different countries and made sure they returned home.
“UAE had 222 flights to deliver more than 2,250 tonnes of medical aid to 136 counties. About 80 per cent of the international response to the affected counties were sent from the UAE,” he said.
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Sheikh Saif added that the period between 2019 and 2022 witnessed major achievements for the UAE, such as having the first Emirati astronaut going to the space and Interpol appointing Major General Ahmed Al Raisi from the UAE as its director, and more.
“They criticised the UAE for human rights but UAE the won in the UN Security Council. They criticised the UAE for supporting terrorism but UAE won the position in Interpol,” Sheikh Al Nahyan added.
At the end of the World Government Summit, Sheikh Mohammed presented an award to Sheikh Saif for the success of Expo 2020 Dubai and World Government Summit by the Ministry of the Interior.