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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 07/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, received visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron and his accompanying delegation at Al Rawdha Palace in Al Ain on Tuesday.

Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President's Representative, and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, were also present.

Shaikh Khalifa welcomed Cameron and his entourage, praising the distinguished cooperation and friendship between the UAE and the United Kingdom.

They held talks on bilateral relations and joint cooperation between the two countries and means of strenghtening them in addition to discussing the latest international developments.

The two sides also stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in various political, economic, commercial, scientific and technical fields. In this regard, they expressed their satisfaction with the growth in bilateral relations, which is reflected in the volume of trade between them. They pointed to the need to develop a common strategy that supports economic growth and diversifies the sources of technological development.

They also stressed the need to strengthen international understanding and cooperation to enhance security and stability in the Gulf region, the Middle East and the world as a whole, within the framework of international resolutions, the need for respect for the sovereignty of states and the need to promote world peace.

Shaikh Khalifa said that Cameron's visit will further strengthen and develop the coordination, consultation and cooperation between the two countries on the basis of their desire to achieve common interests.

He commended the role played by Britain at the regional and international levels to resolve crises and reduce conflicts.

On his part, the British Prime Minister praised the UAE's great achievements under the wise leadership of His Highness the Head of State, which had enabled the state to occupy a prestigious position at both regional and international levels.

He said that Britain appreciated the UAE's modern experience and that he was looking forward to strengthening cooperation between the UAE and his country for the benefit of both peoples.

Both sides expressed their commitment to further strengthening and developing joint partnership in defence, trade, economy, education, investment and climate change.

A joint communique issued at the end of the two-day visit by Cameron said: "We have today celebrated the longstanding and deep friendship between the UK and UAE and agreed an ambitious plan to develop our cooperation still further. Our partnership is built on respect for each other's sovereignty. Both countries have evolved their systems of governance, over time, to reflect their respective traditions and aspirations for the future. We stand together to combat many of the threats to the security of the wider region. We are strongly committed to maintaining tolerant, open, outward-looking societies.

"We are partners across the broadest range of areas. Over 100,000 British citizens live in the UAE. British nationals visiting the UAE make up one of the largest visitor groups. They appreciate the UAE's vibrant society and culture. Nearly two hundred thousand Emiratis visited the UK last year. We want to support and develop this interchange between our people. In the economic sphere, both the UAE and the UK have taken difficult decisions to ensure economic stability. Both have created environments in which investments thrive and both have invested significantly in each other's economies.

"We collaborate on our mutual defence interests, against external and domestic threats; we are political partners in international fora, where we cooperate together to support the peaceful resolution of conflict. Our partnership as governments is built on our partnership as peoples.

"To further strengthen and develop this partnership, we will work together to:

Deepen our defence ties by; continuing the development of our joint plans for the security of the UAE and wider Gulf region; increasing our joint exercises and training; and by investing in the British military presence in the UAE;

Establish a defence industrial partnership that involves close collaboration around Typhoon and a number of new technologies;

Grow UAE investment in the UK infrastructure and British investment in the UAE in aerospace, ICT, service ventures, communications, munitions and capability, broadening the industrial and business partnerships between the UAE and UK companies, aiding technological development and diversification;

Support all these measures by working towards facilitating travel between our two countries;

Build on the already substantial exchanges between the UAE and the UK in the field of education;

Cooperate on addressing new challenges in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as pressing global challenges such as climate change; and

Promote mutual understanding in both our countries."


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