UAE's Continuous Support for Iraqi People

  • 9 October 2008

The visit of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, to Baghdad last Tuesday is a confirmation of the steady and strong UAE policies on Iraq since 2003. These policies are based on strong fundamentals, which includes standing by and supporting the Iraqi people in their hour of crisis, working out all possible means for alleviating their problems, effectively participating in reconstruction operations and opening up the doors for Iraqis the UAE, because of which a hundred thousand Iraqis currently reside in the country. The second policy is promoting Iraqs national unity, stability and sovereignty and endorsing peaceful national cohesion among the various sections of the Iraqi community against any sectarian, ethnic or religious distinctions. In this respect, the UAE has made all out efforts for national reconciliation among various Iraqi forces. Third, it supported the condemnation of any terrorist attack and violence against Iraqis and considered all such attacks against the Iraqi people, the future of its sons and its development. Additionally, the UAE has always called for overcoming domestic disputes that could boil over into violence between different forces and currents. The fourth principle is the rejection of any outside interference in Iraqi internal affairs or attempts to exploit its problems and disputes to promote personal interests on account of Iraq and its people. Fifth, the UAE supports Iraq's position in the Arab fold and considers it an Arab state with an important status and weight on the map of the entire Middle East region. In this respect, the UAE's commercial, economic and political policies on Iraq expresses itself in several ways, the most important being the recent visit by Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Baghdad. This visit follows the recent visit of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Iraqi capital last June, which was the first visit by a GCC foreign minister to Iraq since 2003.

On many occasions, the UAE has expressed its support for Iraq, the country and the people, through practical and realistic steps. The UAE government waived all outstanding Iraqi debt of approximately US$ 7 million, an announcement made during the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to the country last July. Additionally, Abu Dhabi appointed a UAE Ambassador to Baghdad whom presented his credentials in early September. Moreover, the UAE as a sign of openness towards Iraq did not back any particular Iraqi party over the other, as the UAE believes in supporting all of the Iraqi population and has always been keen on improving the unity and stability of Iraq. This political approach explains the appreciation and warmth accorded to it by all of Iraq's parties forces.

The UAE has always pioneered in taking serious steps at the Arab level toward Iraq. This manifests the depth of the UAE politics and the clear vision of the leadership that directs its course.