UAE plans compulsory military service for Emiratis

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UAE plans compulsory military service for Emiratis

Cabinet endorses draft law which makes it mandatory for nationals aged between 18 and 30

By Staff Report

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Published: Tue 21 Jan 2014, 1:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:36 PM

Emirati males aged 18-30 will now be expected to serve in the UAE’s armed forces. The move is a boost to the country’s defence preparedness, which His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called a message of peace, and of strength.

National service will also cover military training, and high school graduates will have to be part of the military for nine months, while those who have not completed high school will serve two years. It will be voluntary for women.

“Our message to the world is a message of peace; the stronger we are, the stronger our message,’’ Shaikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Shaikh Mohammed endorsed the draft federal law on compulsory national and reserve service on the directives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It will be sent to the Federal National Council for approval.

Emiratis aged 18-30, working in local, or federal public institutions, and in the private sector, will join the service in accordance with the provisions of the draft national service law. Those recruited will have their service duration counted at their places of work for the purpose of end of service dues, pension and others, Wam reported.

“National service implants the values of allegiance, loyalty, discipline and sacrifice among youth to serve the country at best,” Shaikh Mohammed said. “My sons and daughters, you have a huge responsibility to preserve these achievements. You are protectors of the present and future. We support you,” the Vice-President said.

The UAE reserve forces will consist of retired armed forces’ soldiers and national service programme graduates, said Shaikh Mohammed in a tweet. He said compulsory service in the armed forces was a move towards peaceful coexistence with all nations.

He hailed the directives of the President for the protection of the country, its independence and sovereignty. He said comprehensive development was a “sacred duty for all Emiratis to safeguard the gains made from the inception of the Union up until now”, Wam reported.

The new law added “another layer to the national defence force to further protect our nation, secure its borders & preserve its achievements”, he said in a tweet.

The Cabinet endorsed the budgets of the General Pensions and Social Security Authority for 2014, Emirates General Transport and Services Corporation.

The final account submitted by Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology for 2012 in which it registered growth in revenues by 14 per cent were endorsed.

The Cabinet also endorsed the final accounts of National Qualifications Authority, National Media Council, National Council for Tourism and Antiquities.

The Council of Ministers approved a number of agreements in the field of air transport with Moldova and Jamaica. It approved the agreements on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion on income with Libya and Brunei. The Cabinet endorsed the agreement on encouragement and protection of investors between the UAE and Benin.

It approved joining of the UAE to the World Petroleum Council, which is the world’s premier oil and gas forum and helps catalyse and facilitate dialogue in order to find sustainable solutions to key energy issues.

The Cabinet meeting was attended by Lt-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and other ministers.

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