Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, headed the UAE delegation that participated in the 44th Council of Foreign Ministers, ICFM, conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, held on 10th and 11th July, 2017, in Abidjan, in the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire.

Addressing the attendees, Dr. Al-Zeyoudi said that the UAE is committed to the international goals of combatting terrorism. He said that the UAE considers itself an important partner in all regional and global alliances that combat terrorism on a security, cultural and intellectual level.

"The UAE stands firmly against all forms of terrorism and religious extremism that destroy the social fabric of society, affect national harmony and threaten global peace and security. It is important that all the countries unite and follow a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism at its sources and track down those who commit acts of terrorism," said Dr. Al-Zeyoudi.

The minister stressed that the UAE has a clear foreign policy that is based on the non-interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring and other countries, respecting their sovereignty and the unity of their territories. He emphasised that the UAE firmly refutes regional interferences in the affairs of other countries that cause instability among populations. Dr. Al-Zeyoudi called for ICFM countries to put a stop to these interferences and other actions, such as supporting armed militias and meddling in the internal affairs of countries. He urged the nations of the world to give up illusions of regional dominance and expansion.

Dr. Al-Zeyoudi renewed the UAE's call to Iran to be responsive to the country's efforts for a peaceful solution to Iran's occupation of the three Emirati islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa through direct negotiations or through international jurisdiction in accordance with the UN convention and the principles of international law.

Dr. Al-Zeyoudi reiterated the UAE's commitment to preserving the well-being of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, and safeguarding the security and stability of its member states, particularly in light of the current crisis with Qatar. He pointed out that the crisis reached its peak as a result of the continuation of the Qatari authorities with the policy of destabilising the region, and manipulating and evading signed commitments and agreements. Dr. Al-Zeyoudi stressed that the Qatar government continues to support, finance and embrace extremism and sectarian organizations, and their work of spreading and promoting extremist ideology through its media. The minister also emphasised that the Qatari people are an integral part of the Gulf and Arab community.

Regarding the situation in Syria, Dr. Al-Zeyoudi stressed that the UAE continued to work towards putting an end to the war and the humanitarian crisis that the Syrian population is going through. He stressed the importance of finding a political solution to the crisis that is based on the requirements of the Geneva Convention and accomplishes the aspirations of the Syrian people in forming a transitional power with complete jurisdictions. This, he said, would ultimately end the cycle of death and destruction, and help create a national platform to build Syria, one that was inclusive of all national components in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

Dr. Al-Zeyoudi stressed that the UAE supports the constitutional legitimacy of Yemen, respects its sovereignty and independence and rejects any interference in its internal affairs. He pointed out the importance of reaching a political solution to the Yemeni situation based on specific fundamentals. These include the GCC initiative and the Riyadh announcement as well as the outcomes of the national dialogue and decisions of the Arab League and the UN Security Council, especially Resolution No. 2216. He added that the UAE supports the efforts of the UN envoy to find a peaceful solution in Yemen.

The minister also emphasized the UAE's stance regarding the importance of the Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territory along the1967 boundaries in accordance with international legislations and the Arab peace initiative. He noted that reaching a peaceful settlement in the Middle East is a vital factor in combatting regional tensions.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs