ABU DHABI // Regional issues and mutual relations formed the agenda of British ministers William Hague and Alan Duncan as their visit to the UAE finished yesterday.
This was Mr Hague's second visit to the country, which was part of the foreign secretary's three-day tour of five countries in the region.
During their visit, Mr Hague and Mr Duncan, the minister for international development, met Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and discussed the strong bilateral relations between the UK and the UAE.
The discussion built on last November's visit by Queen Elizabeth II and the signing of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Declaration, reaffirming the historical friendship between the two countries and committed to closer co-operation on trade and investment, defence and foreign policy, education and culture.
Regional issues were also discussed, including the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt. Mr Hague expressed the UK's view on the need for a clear transition to a broader-based government in Egypt, and the ministers also agreed on the need for renewed progress on the Middle East peace process.
The ministers committed to focus on long-term stability and development in Yemen, and Mr Hague welcomed the UAE's continued encouragement of Iran to engage with the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community.
Mr Hague also met a group of young Emirati men who were winners of a British Council initiative on developing professional skills in the workplace, as well as members of the British business community. His visit is the latest in a series of high-level meetings aimed at creating closer and deeper ties with the UAE.