Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan: The architect of nation’s sound foreign policy

Sheikh Mohamed has been tirelessly working to achieve a more stable and peaceful Middle East


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sun 15 May 2022, 11:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2022, 11:49 AM

The UAE was built on the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s lofty ideals of tolerance, peace, and stability.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan — the key adviser on security issues to his late father Sheikh Zayed — has been tirelessly working to achieve a more stable and peaceful Middle East.

The UAE’s new President has been maintaining cordial relations with world leaders since his eldest brother — Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan took ill in 2014. On Friday, Sheikh Khalifa passed away at the age of 73.

In his earlier role as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed continued to strengthen long-standing bilateral relations with other countries resulting in economic growth and prosperity.

Yemen peace process

In April, the UAE welcomed the decision by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, President of Yemen, to form the Presidential Leadership Council to complete the implementation of the transitional phase and delegate full presidential powers by the constitution, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, and its executive mechanism. The UAE continues to provide aid and emergency assistance to the Yemeni people. Sheikh Mohamed met Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council chairman Dr Rashad Al Alimi and affirmed the UAE’s support for the council to fulfil its national responsibilities towards ensuring the stability and security of Yemen and achieving its people’s aspirations for development and progress.

He said the UAE would spare no effort to provide all possible support to Yemen, highlighting the historical relations uniting the two nations.

Friends and strong allies

The UAE and the US work together to promote regional security, create economic prosperity and address pressing global challenges. From security and trade to climate action, healthcare and the arts, bilateral partnerships are helping build a better future.

In August of last year, US President Joe Biden, during a phone call to Sheikh Mohamed bin, thanked the UAE and leadership for their support in helping evacuate American diplomats and nationals from Afghanistan and nationals of allied countries and Afghans holding visas from these countries after the conflict-hit nation fell to the Taliban. The two leaders also exchanged views on several regional and international developments and issues of common interest.

In May, Sheikh Mohamed held a meeting with General Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla, the commander of US Central Command in the Middle East to discuss the prospects of further consolidating the friendship ties and aspects of defence cooperation as part of the strategic relations binding the two nations.

Bond with India

The UAE shares an age-old relationship with India. It has further deepened with the regular meetings between the leadership. And in 2019, Sheikh Mohamed conferred Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Order of Zayed — the highest civil honour of the country.

The ties have hit new heights with the operationalisation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa), which would encourage trade by reducing custom tariffs by 90 per cent and increase non-oil trade from Dh165.28 billion at the end of 2021 to Dh367.30 billion annually in the next five years, from May 1. And in an unprecedented gesture, India announced one-day mourning on the demise of Sheikh Khalifa, which further underscored the love, care, and bonding between the two nations.

Russia-Ukraine peace

Sheikh Mohamed has stressed the importance of finding peaceful solutions through negotiations, dialogues, and understanding to end the crisis and its fallout and bring peace back to conflict-hit Ukraine. In a telephonic conversation in March, Sheikh Mohamed discussed with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky the progress made in his peace negotiations with Russia.

“We must prioritise ensuring the safety of civilians and enhancing efforts and coordination between countries and humanitarian organisations to provide assistance to affected Ukrainian citizens,” he had told Zelenski.

The UAE supports any measures taken to accelerate reaching a peaceful settlement of the crisis through diplomatic means and peace talks.


Ties with Turkey

The UAE-Turkey relations have witnessed positive development and cooperation in all the areas of mutual interests following the visit of Sheikh Mohamed to Turkey at the end of last year; and President Recep Erdogan’s reciprocal visit to the UAE in February 2022, which resulted in the signing of 72 agreements and memorandums of understanding in various fields.

The two countries are discussing ways to utilise the qualitative leaps recently achieved by bilateral and economic relations and arrangements for finalising the forthcoming Cepa between the two nations.

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