Openness and Balance in UAE Foreign Policy

  • 16 October 2008

During the accreditation ceremony of some new Arab and foreign diplomats recently, the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan summarized the basic principles of the UAE's foreign policy since its formation. These basic principles ensured the UAE's adherence to building balanced and stable relations with all countries, and its indefatigable quest for developing political, economic, and cultural relations with all countries. The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stressed that openness towards the world was a central and founding principle of the states foreign policy, and that this political approach is a direct manifestation of the character of the national community that is known for its openness towards other cultures and civilizations. Moreover, it reflects the sublimity of the message espoused for decays by His Highness the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a great proponent of world peace and strived towards establishing strong relations and links with various countries across the globe. This approach issues from a realization that openness among countries and communities deepens their relations and projects a positive image of each other. This in turn directly supports peace, understanding and facilitates climate of dialogue at the global level and rids the world of all sorts of confrontation and conflicts. On the other hand, isolationist policies increase misunderstanding, disagreements and conflicts and emphasizes negative tendencies among different communities.

In addition, through its policy of political openness and balanced relations, the UAE gains greater leverage to maneuver its options as well as to expand diplomatic relations around the world. This approach has helped the UAE establish strong and active relations with Europe, United States, Africa and Asia at the same time. UAE's diplomacy could avoid conflict of interests and favor any relation above the other. The UAE believes that contacts should always be open with everybody as it is the most civilized and humane approach for reaching agreements and solving conflicts. Another important feature of the UAE's foreign policy highlighted by the speech of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is its comprehensive approach in diplomatic relations. This approach focuses on expanding the spectrum of relations and avoids limiting it to the political aspect only. Thus, emphasis is placed on diversified areas including economic, cultural and any other aspects as well. This approach is derived from an intrinsic national belief that all such factors serve that prime target which is deepening injunctions of friendship and understanding between countries, nations and cultures.

These genuine features of the UAE's external policies since its formation has accorded the country effective political, economic and cultural status at regional and international levels and has made this country virtually synonymous with ideals like moderation, wisdom and political balance. Therefore, the UAE is accepted and welcomed in all countries and regions, not only at the official level, but also at the community level, and has become a hub for Arab and foreign officials in the GCC region.