NOUAKCHOTT,17th March, 2023 (WAM) -- Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, headed the UAE delegation to the 49th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which was held in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
The session was held under the theme 'Centrism and moderation: the valve of security and stability'.
Al Marar delivered the UAE's speech before the meeting, which was inaugurated by the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.
Al Marar expressed appreciation to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for hosting the meeting and for the warm reception and hospitality, and also thanked the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for its efforts during its presidency of the 48th session.
Al Marar expressed the UAE's solidarity with the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Trkiye, over the earthquakes that recently devastated the two countries.
He underscored the UAE's humanitarian role and responsibilities in immediately responding to the disaster and human tragedy, noting that the country launched the "Gallant Knight / 2" Operation in which the UAE established an air bridge to deliver search and rescue teams, relief supplies, shelter items, medicines, treatments, and field hospitals.
He added: "By March 15, the number of flights as part of 'Operation Gallant Knight / 2' had reached 236, with an additional 13 aircraft from the International Humanitarian City in Dubai.
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, allocated USD 150 million to support those affected whilst His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, donated AED 50 million.
The UAE also launched the "Bridges of Good" campaign to collect monetary and in-kind donations. This ongoing campaign has so far collected AED 180 million, of which AED 50 million came from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation."
He stressed that the UAE supports all regional and international efforts to advance the peace process in the Middle East, based on the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
He appreciated the role played by the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in this regard.
He stressed the need to adhere to the principles and rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, international legitimacy and multilateral action, respect for the principle of settling international disputes by peaceful means, respect for the sovereignty and independence of States and non-interference in their internal affairs, and the importance of diplomacy as the only way to resolve crises and support dialogue and negotiations.
In this regard, he indicated that the UAE welcomes the agreement reached by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran to resume diplomatic relations between the two countries.
He also expressed appreciation for the role played by the People's Republic of China, and the efforts made by the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Iraq towards this important step, which will contribute to enhancing security, stability and prosperity in the region.
He also praised the success of COP27, which was hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt last November, indicating that the UAE is looking forward to hosting COP28 at Dubai Expo City in November 2023. The event will be an inclusive conference for all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, youth and civil society organizations, to address climate action and energy transition.
He extended an invitation to all Member States to participate in COP28 to secure a future of stability and prosperity for all countries and overcome existing climate and environmental challenges.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Saif Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the country's delegate to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Yaqoub Al Hosani, Assistant Minister for International Organisations Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Hamad Ghanem Al Mheiri, UAE Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.