Balanced and Wise Approach of the UAE

  • 24 December 2008

The statement of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which was published on December 23, 2008 to the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, shows the balanced and wise approach pursued by the UAE leadership at the internal and foreign levels in tackling different issues, files and crises.

At the domestic level, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa reaffirmed his commitment to a number of important principles that distinguish the regime and development in the UAE and that preserve its stability and security in an area that is teeming with tensions and conflicts. Its first principle is that internal security necessitates a strong force and this is the purpose behind the armament of the UAE's forces. This policy of the UAE is defensive in nature, and its Armed Forces are for deterrence, for protection of developmental gains and to help preserve regional stability. The forces are not meant for aggression or to pose threats. The second principle is that development should be steady and guided by a clear vision, ensuring that each step is taken at the correct time and place in order to achieve the desired objective without compromising the norms of society or its stability. In this context, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, affirmed that the evolution of the Federal National Council should take place in a studied and phased manner, fully cognizant of the nature of the times the UAE is passing through and the developments it is witnessing at all levels. The third principle relates to a broader understanding of various issues, which was manifest in the statement by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, while speaking on the demographic composition of the country, when he stated: “We view the demographic composition of the UAE positively, as it exemplifies the ability of our people and country to adapt and accommodate a diverse and vast human population. This serves as a model of coexistence and interaction that promotes development of our country.” However, this vision “does not hide from our eyes the need to preserve our national identity”. The fourth principle relates to self confidence and the country's faith in its abilities. The words of His Highness, the President of the UAE,  about the “global financial crisis” and the measures taken by UAE to tackle it would translate this confidence in a clear way.

At the foreign level, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, clearly enunciated the distinguishing features of the UAE's foreign policies since its formation, which include wisdom, moderation and openness to others. Despite Iranian occupation of our three islands—Abu Mussa, Grater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb—His Highness expressed the view of “establishing relations (with Iran) based on cooperation and openness”, in order to enhance the security of the Gulf. The second principle of the UAE's external policy is its refusal to resort to military option for whatever reason. Thus,  His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, clearly  rejected military confrontation in the Gulf region "in principle." The third feature of the UAE's external policy is positive involvement in addressing Arab issues, from Iraq to Lebanon and Palestine. His Highness Shaikh Khalifa expressed a sincere Arab sentiment by confirming the importance of Iraq as an important Arab country in the region, and that “internal reconciliation” is the road to restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people and the achievement of Lebanese national unity.