UAE Delegation: UAE’s first economic partner for Switzerland in the Arab world

WAM BERN, 20th November, 2013 (WAM) — Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and other international organisations has praised the distinguished relations between the U.A.E. and Switzerland in various fields. Pointing out the main features of the strategic partnership for future relations between the two countries and ways of strengthening them.

This came in a speech delivered in Bern by the Ambassador during a ceremony held on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.A.E and Switzerland, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, U.A.E. Foreign Minister and the Swiss delegation led by Didier Burkhalter, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Al Zaabi said that reaching the age of 40 is a symbol of wisdom and maturity, two main advantages of the relations between the two countries which began in 1973, laid by the pillars of the founder of the U.A.E., the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and followed in the same direction by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He stressed that the bilateral relations between the two countries were based on mutual respect and pointed out that the participation of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, U.A.E. Foreign Minister, in the celebration is a sign of the nobility and authenticity of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The U.A.E. Ambassador reviewed the commercial relations of the two countries, affirming that the U.A.E. is the top economic partner for Switzerland in the Arab world. Stressing the importance of the continuation and development of this unique partnership, through the development of strategies and various investment projects to promote trade and economic exchanges between the two countries.

Mr. Al Zaabi called for more focus on the importance of cooperation in the fields of innovation, research and higher education. Noting the existence of a high-quality infrastructure in the two countries, which provides a platform and opportunities to promote the distinct capabilities of the two countries in more scientific and technological enterprises that are both innovative and sophisticated, and to take advantage of the highest possible added value provided by the two countries’ relations in the areas of commerce and trade.

In the field of tourism, Mr. Al Zaabi noted the global status enjoyed by the two countries and the importance of enhancing this through working on the development of tourism facilities and opportunities in order to provide a favourable climate, is characterised by the quality of services in the areas of tourism, culture, sports and the arts.

He stressed the need to explore ways and means of exchanging experiences and expertise to strengthen the partnership between the two countries, especially in view of the importance attached the United Arab Emirates’ bid to host Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The Ambassador also highlighted the strategic dimension posed by modern technology, the environment and solar energy, the provision of drinking water and health care. Stressing the importance of cooperation between the U.A.E. and Swiss sides in the face of the challenge of promoting renewable energy and the green economy, not only for the benefit of the two countries but for all humanity. He pointed to the need for cooperation in energy security at the global level and the requirement to work actively to find appropriate solutions and alternatives in this area.

Mr. Al Zaabi also emphasised the strength of international relations between the two countries, especially in the humanitarian field, which requires more work and cooperation in order to combat poverty and alleviate human suffering, pointing out the need to discover the best ways to link humanitarian aid to development strategies in the countries concerned in line with the strategy of United Nations Development beyond 2015 as outlined in the United Nations agenda for the next decade.

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi reaffirmed that the experiences enjoyed by the two countries could represent a solid platform for the development of a strong partnership in the field of peacekeeping mediation and security in order to meet the new security challenges.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the Swiss Emirati Friendship Council to contribute and actively participate in establishing strong relations of cooperation between the two countries in various fields. He said that the Council could be the appropriate forum for the preparation of studies that will identify possible areas of cooperation under the supervision of the highest authorities in the two countries.

Mr. Al Zaabi concluded by saying that the strong political expressed by the two sides on the occasion of the celebration of 40 years since the establishment of mutual diplomatic relations will increase the strength and durability of the relationship, and open broad prospects for achieving the objectives to which the U.A.E. and Swiss parties aspire .


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