UAE's focus is to build bridges, promote regional dialogue: Anwar Gargash

Cooperation is the only solution considering the challenges the region has undergone in the last decade, says diplomat



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 1:05 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 1:55 PM

The UAE's focus is to build bridges and promote dialogue in the region, according to Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President. Speaking at the Arab Media Forum 2022 about the changing perspectives of the Middle East, he stressed how the country is batting for stability in the region.

"With the Abraham accords and our dialogue with Iran and Turkey, we want to improve friendly relationships between all regional countries," he said. "We want stability, prosperity and growth. This prosperity and growth should be for the entire region. That is possible only through bilateral relationships."

It was in September 2020 that the UAE and Israel signed the Abraham Accords, a historic normalization agreement which has since been transforming the region and leading to cooperation between both countries at several levels. Earlier this year, the UAE and Iran restored diplomatic relations with each other. Similarly, the UAE also resumed ties with Turkey, with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visiting the country in February this after almost a decade.

Regional relationships

According to Dr Gargash, the UAE's move to improve regional relationships has been welcomed by all quarters.

"Based on all indicators, Turkey, Israel and Iran have welcomed the partnerships that we have strived to create," he said. "The relations have created new opportunities in all fields. However, we are not naïve. We are aware that every country has its priorities. Our agenda is to create partners."

Dr Gargash also admitted that the UAE did not agree with all policies of its partners.

"We have difference with Iran about their regional policies," he said. "However,we only have one avenue and that it is to have good relations, improve dialogue and build partnerships, so that the region has growth and stability. I strongly believe that we have to stay away from judging the systems of each country. We're have to respect their law and order."

Dr Gargash further elaborated that it was futile to think of any solution other than cooperation, considering the challenges the region has undergone in the last decade.

"The Arab Spring and the Covid-19 pandemic are just some of the issues we have faced," he said. "We cannot spend another 10 or 20 years warring over our differences. The region will pay the cost if we opt for something like a war. Dialogue is less costly and more effective than war. We have to find partnerships, and we have to hold each other accountable."

UAE's stance on Russia-Ukraine crisis

"Our vote was against war," said Dr Gargash about the country's vote on the US and Albania-led resolution at the United Nations Security Council that condemned Russia's proclamation that its annexation of parts of Ukraine. The UAE had voted in favour of the resolution which was eventually vetoed by Russia.

"It is a difficult position to be in," he said. "However, the truth is that the whole world is suffering because of this war. It has created many challenges like inflation, food security and scarcity of energy sources. We are firmly of the opinion that there must be a political resolution that can be reached through dialogue."

Focus on economy

With all the challenges the world is facing, the UAE's focus has been on improving its economy.

"As a region that has faced a lot of challenges in the last decade, our priority has always been on our economy," said Dr Gargash. "The UAE has become one of the countries that has a population of 10 million and GDP of over 350 billion. That is not a small feat."

Dr Gargash also further spoke about the UAE has been hunting for ways to diversify its economy.

"It is not enough to rely on traditional contributors to the economy," he said. "As a country, we have been focusing on finding new sources to contribute to the economy."

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