x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Sheikha Lubna praises UAE’s strengthening ties with EU

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the Minister of Development, is in Brussels ahead of the expected vote by a European Parliament committee to lift visa restrictions on UAE travellers to Europe.

DUBAI // Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the Minister of Development, chaired a roundtable discussions between UAE and European Parliament in Brussels and praised the strengthening of relations between the two.

Sheikha Lubna re-affirmed that the foreign policy of the UAE is firmly based on the solid and clear principles of mutual respect, promotion of cooperation and peaceful solutions to conflicts and issues as well as contribution to the achievement of international peace and security.

The meeting on Wednesday sought to discuss issues of partnership and economic cooperation.

“The strategic importance of relations between the EU and the UAE cannot be doubted and is reflected in our common values and shared perspective,” Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid said in her speech to the EU Parliament, Kuwait news agency reported.

“While exports of oil and gas from the UAE to the EU countries have long represented a shared interest for our two sides, our bilateral ties extend far beyond these commodities. The EU market is the largest beneficiary of regular financial flows from the UAE in form of foreign direct investments, bank deposits, and capital shares in major European share markets.”

The meeting comes on the eve of an expected vote by a European Parliament committee to lift visa restrictions on UAE travellers to Europe. If successful, the bill will go before the full parliament next year.

Amal Al Qubaisi, First Deputy Speaker of Federal National Council, also spoke at the meeting over shared ground between the EU and UAE on the issue of human rights.

“There are no differences between the UAE and the European Union over human rights and the rights of individuals to peaceful and dignified life,” she said, according to the state news agency Wam.

“These are the principles which should drive our cooperation especially when it comes to the Arab Spring countries, as we should first bring peace and stability to those countries before speaking about democratic transition.”

mcroucher@thenational.ae