x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Key to peace is unity with West: David Miliband

'The question is how Muslim countries and western countries can have more co-operation, trust and respect,' says the British foreign secretary.

ABU DHABI // The key to Middle East peace is collaboration between Muslim-majority countries and the western world, the former British foreign secretary David Miliband said yesterday.

"We are stronger together than we are apart," said Mr Miliband, who left UK politics in September. "The question is how Muslim countries and western countries can have more co-operation, trust and respect."

Mr Miliband's comments were part of a talk entitled New Coalitions for a Changing World, organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research. He is in the country on a four-day tour that included a visit to Masdar on Friday.

In his speech, Mr Miliband applauded the UAE's ties to the US and UK, but urged Muslims worldwide to take part in helping rebuild the relationship between the Islamic world and the US.

"We need to understand and explain to the public the differences within the Muslim world," Mr Miliband said. "This is not just a question for theologians debating differences between Sunni and Sufi. It is a political recognition that the differences between Turkey's secular state, Indonesia's pluralist democracy and the Gulf monarchies are as striking as the similarities."

The former politician also said the West needed Muslim support to help end the war in Afghanistan and deal with the threat of a nuclear Iran.

jthomas@thenational.ae