x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE to back Australia's bid for UN Security Council seat

The UAE will back Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council this autumn, the Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has confirmed.

ABU DHABI // The UAE will back Australia's bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council this autumn, the Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has confirmed.

The confirmation was made on Tuesday during a visit by the Australian foreign minister, Bob Carr, to the country to sign a nuclear supply deal between the two nations.

"The relations between our two countries extend beyond trade and cultural ties as we have extended our political relations," said Sheikh Abdullah.

Mr Carr said: "I am grateful to the UAE for backing our bid. Our relations are strong as they are our biggest business partner in the Middle East with AUS$6.4 billion [Dh24.6bn] in two-way trade.

"We are not America or Europe. We will bring forth our outlook and approach to world issues."

Mr Carr hoped that Australia's approach to the crisis in Syria would help force a peaceful resolution.

"We would push for a ceasefire to be enforced and get both sides at the table to talk. We are distressed that the problem could spill over and are seeking for a fast and final resolution before the problem expands," he said.

He added that Australia's bid for a UN Security Council seat was based on its multilateral approach and previous history in peacekeeping operations as well as its "generous foreign aid programme".

According to the Australian ministry of foreign affairs, the UN Security Council's work in the immediate future on issues such Afghanistan, forthcoming elections in East Timor and a referendum in Bougainville, is directly relevant to a number of core Australian national security interests.

"Because of our capacity to make a difference as a middle power with global influence, as an effective voice for small and medium- sized countries, and to do what we say we are going to do, a 2009 Lowy Institute poll found that nearly three quarters of Australians support the Security Council bid," said the United Nations Association of Australia, a UN entity based in Canberra.

Australia is competing with Finland and Luxembourg for the Western Europe and Other Countries seat.

amustafa@thenational.ae