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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed meets Putin, signs 'strategic partnership'

The two leaders also issued a joint call for a coalition to fight terrorism and extremism

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in Moscow, as the two discussed cooperation, and signed a new, wide-ranging, strategic partnership.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrived in Moscow with an accompanying delegation on Thursday, before being met by Mr Putin at the Kremlin on Friday afternoon.

WAM, the UAE state news agency, reported that the two discussed cooperation between the two countries, as well as a variety of regional and international issues of mutual interest before signing a declaration of strategic partnership in the political, security, economic and cultural domains.

Speaking after the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed stressed the UAE’s desire to further cultivate relations between the two countries.

“Our relations are very important and we emphasise the keenness to develop them. We are also pleased with the rapid growth in trade exchange and we are confident that it will hit new heights after declaring the strategic partnership between the two countries."

He added that it was necessary to “maintain a continuous coordination with Russia on regional issue to ensure security and stability".

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Russia on two-day official visit

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Vladimir Putin discuss relations between UAE and Russia

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Mr Putin said "The UAE has been a reliable partner over the years in the Middle East region and we will today sign a declaration on a strategic partnership as a further step on the path toward strengthening our relations.

"We have a large number of joint projects, joint interests. I do hope and believe that today's visit will contribute to strengthening our mutual relations," he added.

Also present at the talks were Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, National Security Adviser, Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Reuters reported that the agreement included continued cooperation in the oil and gas industries. “This cooperation is aimed at providing balance and stability on the global oil market”, the declaration said.

Meanwhile, Russian state media, which had also seen the declaration, reported that the two called for the establishment of an international coalition to fight terrorism and extremism.

"The parties will strengthen cooperation in the field of security and defence, in particular, by intensifying consultations between the competent authorities of the two countries," the document added.

The meeting followed a phone call in March between Sheikh Mohammed and Mr Putin, in which the two discussed cooperation. Sheikh Mohammed previously visited Moscow in April of last year, where the two leaders discussed how to bring to an end the various conflicts unsettling the region.