The ministerial meeting of the first UAE-Mali Joint Committee was held yesterday at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The meeting was chaired by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Kamisa Kamara, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali.
At the start of the meeting, Al Hashemy welcomed Kamara and her delegation while stating that the current edition of the committee is taking place following the successful visit of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to Mali in March, which saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to form the committee.
She added that the committee's meeting crowns a series of measures that aim to reinforce the bilateral ties between the two countries, especially the signing of an MoU to exempt their citizens from entry visas in July 2017, as well as the signing of agreements related to encouraging investments and avoiding double income taxation in March 2018. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan also issued a federal decree to establish the UAE Embassy in Mali in May, she further added.
Al Hashemy highlighted the deep political ties between the two countries, which are based on a united vision of their leadership on many regional and international issues, especially the fight against terrorism and extremism while noting the UAE's support for the five-country "Coastal Force."
"The UAE's mission is to promote peace and tolerance and combat extremism and terrorism, and it is employing all its diplomatic and development potential to achieve this mission, which has led it to cooperate with Mali and support the development efforts led by Ibrahim Abu Bakr Keita, President of Mali," Al Hashemy said.
She also praised the partnerships between the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, the Emirate's Red Crescent, ERC, and government of Mali to support social housing programs and development projects related to health and education.
Al Hashemy then praised the growing commercial relations between the two countries, noting that the UAE is the second largest market for Mali's exports, and Mali was the second largest African exporter to the UAE between 2014 and 2017.
"Despite the significant decline in bilateral trade between 2016 and 2017, preliminary figures for the first nine months of 2018 highlight a recovery. The total value of trade between the two countries reached around US$955 million, compared to only $217 million during the same period in 2017," she added.
Al Hashemy praised the overall cooperation between the UAE and Mali and thanked the country for supporting the UAE's membership in the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, from 2019 to 2022 while highlighting the UAE's willingness to support Mali in obtaining non-permanent membership to the Security Council from 2022 to 2023, as well as to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, from 2019 to 2023, and the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, third category from 2019 to 2022.
She also thanked Mali for declaring its participation in the Dubai Expo 2020, which confirms their strong bilateral ties.
Kamara expressed her country's happiness at the formation of the committee and its first meetings in Abu Dhabi, which will reinforce the overall ties between the two countries.
She also expressed the desire of Mali's government to improve its overall economic partnership with the UAE.
Al Hashemy and Kamara then signed a mutual political consultation agreement.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs