Prospects of Wide-Ranging UAE-German Relations

  • 15 November 2007

The visit of the Deputy Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to Germany is important because of several reasons. The most important reason stems from the German view of the UAE, which is characterized by respect and admiration. This is manifest in the hospitality accorded to His Highness by the German people during his visit. It is also reflected in the statements by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who has praised the wise policies of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (May God bless him).

Thanks to the wise policies of His Highness, the UAE has realized greater development and growth. He has guided UAE’s foreign policy towards maintaining greater stability in the region and for promoting greater security and peace. The second reason relates to relations between the two countries that run deep, are wide-ranging, and foster development. At the political level, it would be important to note the frequent exchange of visits between officials of the UAE and Germany. The visit of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan to Berlin follows the visit by the German Chancellor to the UAE in February, when she addressed a conference organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. Earlier, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had visited Berlin in December 2006. Similarly, Minister of the Foreign Affairs His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, visited Germany in May this year and November last year. At the economic level, the volume of trade between the two countries reached up to 5.87 billion euros in 2006, a major increase from the euro 1.95 euros trade in 1999. Thus, the UAE is a major trading partner of Germany in the Arab region.

UAE-German relations are not limited to the political and economic spheres, but are important in the fields of cultural, mass media and defense. It is to be mentioned that Germany is helping train members of the Iraqi security forces in the UAE. In addition, it has also established Goethe Institut in Abu Dhabi. The third reason that gives the visit of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan to Germany such significance is the important role he has played in promoting UAE-German relations, as along with former German Chancellor Gerard Schrِder, he is the Co-Chairman of the UAE-German Friendship Society. During his visit to Germany in April 2004, His Highness had signed a Memorandum of Understanding that made the UAE a strategic partner of Germany in various fields and became a basis for the development of relations between the two countries.