The UAE participated in the 18th Council of Ministers and related meetings of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, IORA, which concluded in the South African city of Durban today.
Addressing the high-level event, UAE Minister of State, Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, underscored the UAE's commitment to its active role in the group due to the fact that the Indian Ocean's significance as a platform for trade and security in the region and the world.
''The UAE is looking forward to working and cooperating diligently with member states to deliver the group's vision and objectives as well as the approved plan of action 2017 � 2021 so as the group can play its central role properly and address common challenges,'' he stated.
He said that both, the UAE and South Africa, celebrate 2018 as the centennial anniversary of the birth of the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela. On this glorious occasion, he stated, the UAE donated 7 million Rand for the restoration of the Nelson Mandela Foundation's archives and US$15,000 for the Mandela Scholarship managed by the IORA Students Association.
He also underlined the UAE's readiness to cooperate for maintaining peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region by tackling major challenges.
''The UAE believes the IORA is a key contributor in the development and progress of the member states, especially in areas of capacity building and achieving prosperity,'' he added.
The UAE will take over the presidency of IORA for the period 2019-2021. Since becoming a member in 1999, it has actively contributed to undertaking many initiatives within and outside the group.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs