x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Speaker hails German goodwill towards UAE

A partnership between the UAE and Germany should include all economic, political, cultural and military levels, says council speaker.

BERLIN // A strategic partnership between the UAE and Germany should include all economic, political, cultural and military levels, Abdul Aziz al Ghurair, the Speaker of the Federal National Council, said. after meeting German political and business leaders. "I think there is a genuine feeling towards the UAE. Be it at the federal level or the state level, there is exceptional goodwill," Mr al Ghurair said.

"I find them keen to do something with the UAE and I think both of us should take advantage of this. "There should be some mechanism to push this will, to promote a better economic, political and military ties between the two countries." Mohammed Ahmed al Mahmood, the UAE ambassador to Germany, said the basis for such a link-up was already in place since the countries had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2004 to begin a strategic partnership.

"The Emirates has some strategic relationships with other countries," said Mr al Mahmood. "But Germany is an important country whether in the EU or internationally. They have the know-how, they have the high-tech, which we really need." The trade volume between the UAE and Germany had grown from ?2 billion to ?5.8bn (US$1.5bn), Mr al Mahmood said. But he added that the balance was tipped in Germany's favour. The UAE's exports to Germany were currently worth slightly more than ?400,000.

Mr al Ghurair said the imbalance could be simply solved if Germany imported more from the UAE. "We expect the Germans to buy our products and services," he said. "There are some good exports from the UAE. Plus, buy our energy, oil. They are not buying our oil now." Meeting German parliamentarians was important for the UAE, Mr al Ghurair said. "The way decisions are made in Germany you need the support of the parliament," he said.

"So, it's very important for us to have a link and dialogue with the speaker and the members of the parliament - to have that communication and their support to help drive the relationship between the UAE and Germany." @Email:mhabboush@thenational.ae