ABU DHABI // Sheikh Khalifa has marked the 37th anniversary of the unification of the armed forces by saying that strength comes from building peace.
The President told commanders, officers and soldiers that the best use of force was to achieve security, justice, political and community stability internally "and to lend a hand and help brothers and friends externally", reported Dira Al Qatan magazine.
Sheikh Khalifa said the armed forces had been part of international peacekeeping forces and helped provide relief to disaster-hit areas in a number of countries, said the state news agency Wam.
While recognising their efforts, he encouraged those in the forces to improve their skills and qualifications to serve the country better.
"The unification of the armed forces of our country was achieved in 1976 to form a pioneering step in the process of building the institutions of the state in all areas, whereby we have strengthened this unity in our national work through our commitment to the objectives of the founding leaders," Sheikh Khalifa said.
The President said that just as the founding leaders wanted the country to be strong, their successors would follow in their footsteps "to build the basic components of these forces as we have prepared and implemented modernised defensive and comprehensive programmes which qualify the armed forces to safeguard the homeland and the unity of the community".
Sheikh Khalifa said the leadership was committed to providing all necessary support to bring the armed forces up to "decent standards".
"The mastery of establishing a deterrent force, equipped with the latest equipment and military systems and technology, is the result of the preparation and implementation of modernised defences and comprehensive programmes which qualify the armed forces to safeguard the homeland and the unity of the community," he added.