Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed attends military base opening in Egypt

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi greeted by Egyptian president in Red Sea Governorate

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed attended the opening of a military base in Egypt on Wednesday.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces was welcomed to the country by its President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Sheikh Mohamed landed in the Red Sea Governorate then attended the official opening of Berenice Military Base - on the invitation of Mr El Sisi.

"We share our Egyptian brothers' pride in their national, developmental and cultural achievements," Sheikh Mohamed said on Twitter.

Sheikh Mohamed, along with several other representatives of Arab and foreign countries, also witnessed the inauguration of the Berenice civilian airport and the launch of Qader 2020, the largest amphibious landing exercise using live ammunition involving members of the Egyptian Air Force and Navy.

"Such achievements reflect Egypt's vision of all-round development and enhance its role in regional stability. We wish it more progress and prosperity," Sheikh Mohamed said.

The joint Naval and Air Force base, in northern Halayeb Triangle bordering Sudan, is described as one of the largest in the Middle East. Spanning 607 kilometres squared, the base boasts two tarmacs and a hangar to carry out maintenance on jets, reported Egypt’s official news agency. It also includes several firing and training ranges for all types of weapons and a number of logistic and housing facilities.

It is one of three new strategic naval bases being built in Egypt on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts - under an expansion and modernisation of the country's Armed Forces.

In his statement, Sheikh Mohamed praised the new base saying it added a qualitative edge to Egyptian military capability and "supports the freedom and security of navigation in the Red Sea."

"The Egyptian Armed Forces are not only a bulwark of Egypt but also of the entire Arab world because Egypt's strength is a force for all Arabs. Egypt, with its strong and advanced armed forces, is a factor in the region’s stability and peace," he said.

He described bilateral ties between the UAE and Egypt as "brotherly and strategic", adding that he and Mr El Sisi regularly consult on regional and international issues.

"The Arab people have aspirations for development and stability and reject conflicts and wars, but it is external interference in the affairs of the region that cause tensions and drain efforts and capabilities," Sheikh Mohamed said.

The opening ceremony began with the arrival of Sheikh Mohamed, Mr El Sisi and several guests from Egypt and other foreign countries, along with defence ministers and chiefs of staff.

Egypt’s national anthem was played, followed by the raising of the flag of the Egyptian Armed Forces by Mr El Sisi, which marked the base’s opening.

The head of the Armed Forces Training Authority gave a speech explaining Qader 2020, stressing that it highlighted the ability of the Egyptian Armed Forces to protect the security and safety of the country, as well as its regional waters and national strategic interests.

Berenice is an ancient seaport on the west coast of the Red Sea. It was founded in 275 BC by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who named it after his mother, Berenice I of Egypt.

More to follow

Updated: January 16, 2020 12:45 PM

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