Hedayah Chairman meets Spanish officials, explains UAE’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Steering Board of the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, Hedayah, made an official visit, yesterday, to Madrid, where he held high-level meetings with Spanish government officials who specialise in countering terrorism and extremism at the Spanish Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, while accompanied by Dr. Hissa Abdulla Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Spain.

Dr. Al Nuaimi also met with experts on terrorism and extremism at the Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies and give a lecture at the Casa Arabe in Madrid, to highlight the UAE’s efforts to combat violent extremism and Hedayah’s related role.

Dr. Al Nuaimi met with Maria Elena Gomez Castro, Director-General of Defence Policy, as well as Spanish officials assigned to defence strategy at the headquarters of the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the means of developing and strengthening the co-operation between Hedayah and the Spanish Ministry of Defence while highlighting the UAE’s efforts to counter violent extremism and terrorism and the international role of Hedayah.

Al Nuaimi stressed the importance of enhancing the co-operation between the UAE and Spain against extremism, which is the origin of terrorism while the Spanish side reviewed Hedayah’s programmes and the potential for further co-operation. Castro also praised the exceptional relations between the two countries in combatting extremism and terrorism.

Dr. Al Nuaimi was also received by Enrique Mora Benavente, Director-General of Foreign Policy, at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, where they discussed the bilateral relations between their countries, as well as their solid security co-operation and their efforts against international extremism and terrorism.

Al Nuaimi affirmed the UAE’s efforts and the reasons for establishing Hedayah, which plays a key international role in combatting violent extremism through its various programmes that begin with education, which it considers an important tool against extremism.

International and regional issues and crises were also discussed during the meeting, including the co-ordination of the bilateral efforts between the UAE and Spain, to reach a political solution to end various international crises, most notably in Syria and Iraq. The efforts of both countries to return stability to Libya and Yemen were also discussed.

The official visit of the Chairman of Hedayah Centre included a meeting with experts from the Elcano Royal Institute for International and Strategic Studies. The meeting was attended by Elcano experts and Spanish specialists from strategic research centres specialised in fighting terrorism and extremism.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi introduced the Hedayah Centre and its multiple programmes, which are within the framework of the country’s efforts to fight extremism, highlighting that the source of terrorism and extremism was the Muslim Brotherhood group.

During his meeting with Elcano experts, he asserted that the main reason for boycotting Qatar was its funding and support for international terrorism, through its media and money, and that the boycott was not against the Qatari people but against the Qatari system, which contributed directly by funding various terrorist organisations years ago, from Al Qaeda to Daesh.

El Casa Arabe in Madrid hosted a lecture by the Chairman of Hedayah Centre, entitled ‘The UAE’s effort in fighting extremism’, which was attended by Arab and foreign ambassadors.

He emphasised the country’s efforts in this field, regionally and internationally, and the role of the Hedayah Centre, which is making efforts to combat extremism. He also noted that extremism was not limited to Islam, but existed in other religions also, and this problem could be addressed only through education and collaborative international efforts.

Dr. Hissa Abdulla Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador in Madrid, while introducing the Chairman of Hedayah Centre, underlined that the UAE was considered one of the first countries in the Arab Gulf region to make efforts to fight terrorism.

The Hedayah Centre was established in 2012, as an effective media centre conducting strategic research, under the guidance of the wise leadership of the country to eliminate this phenomenon, regionally and internationally.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs