Clear and Principled Position of the UAE

  • 10 June 2010

The UAE has taken a clear and strong position against the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea a few days ago describing it as criminal and inhuman. The country called it a clear violation of international law and called the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. Addressing the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia on Tuesday His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, reiterated the UAE’s principles in this regard and condemned Israeli aggression against the Freedom Flotilla. He appealed to the international community to fix the responsibilities of this aggression through a fair international investigation.

The position adopted by the UAE with regard to the Freedom Flotilla incident reflects several aspects of its foreign policy. The first is the country’s condemnation of violence as a means to solving disputes regardless of the degree of complexity. It believes that such an approach has dangerous repercussions on the security situation, both regionally and internationally. The UAE adopts a humane approach that motivates it to help alleviate the sufferings of the people affected by living conditions in places such as the Gaza Strip. Flippo Grandi, the UNRWA Commissioner, recently described Gaza as the biggest open jail in the world adding that the siege imposed on the Strip is longer that the Sarajevo siege.

The UAE is also keen to extend support to the Palestinian people and wants to stand beside it in its quest to survive in their own land and in the face of Israeli aggression against them. This has been a fundamental element of the UAE’s policy since its inception and has been demonstrated time and again through the different initiatives and projects that have sought to improve the lives of Palestinians on the ground. Moreover, it was Israel that committed aggression on Freedom Flotilla and violated humanitarian laws by assaulting unarmed civilians who carried nothing but humanitarian aid to people suffering from siege and aggression.

The UAE has reaffirmed its position strongly because it is a matter of principle and the country rejects violence regardless of where it takes place and who resorts to it. The country has always opposed the idea of putting people under siege and starvation and calls the Israeli policy towards Gaza Strip and other occupied Palestinian territories a model of collective punishment. Since this represents a flagrant violation of all international norms and laws, it must be confronted with all possible means.