Photo Credit: UN Screenshot
United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, addresses the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, Sept. 25-Oct.1, 2018.

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday announced the candidacy of the UAE for a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

In his address to the General Debate of the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Al Nahyan said, “The world is witnessing a critical turning point following the spread of the coronavirus. While we celebrate the achievements that we have made since the foundation of the United Nations, we must reflect on the nature of the challenges we face.”


Solving crises, especially in the Middle East, requires a unified international position that “rejects the violation of the sovereignty of states and interference in their internal affairs,” he continued.

Seemingly in reference to Iran, Al Nahyan said that in its pursuit of regional stability, the UAE had “repeatedly warned against the expansionist ambitions of some states in the region” and had called to put an end to the interference by those states in the internal affairs of others.

“These warnings stemmed from our reality and experience,” he said. “The tensions in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and other states are all related to blatant interference in Arab affairs made by states that incite strife and discord, or that have historical delusions of restoring their domination and colonial rule over the Arab region and the Horn of Africa.”

He also expressed the UAE’s “deep concern” regarding Turkey’s military involvement in Libya, which he said was an “alarming part” of the type of interference in Arab affairs that was destabilizing the region.

Al Nahyan also called for an immediate halt to all foreign interference in Syria.

“We … reiterate that a political process is the only way to end the Syrian crisis and protect the security of its people,” he said.

In addition, the UAE foreign minister addressed the peace agreement he signed with Israel at the White House earlier this month, expressing his hope that it would open up “new intellectual horizons.”

“With the signing of a historic peace accord with Israel, supported by American efforts, my country was able to freeze the annexation decision [regarding Judea and Samaria] and opened broad prospects to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region,” he said.

“We hope this peace accord will provide the opportunity for the Palestinians and the Israelis to re-engage in negotiations to achieve peace. Our position towards supporting the Palestinian people and achieving the two-state solution is firm. We will work to ensure that the peace accord will open new intellectual horizons in the region and create a prosperous path for future generations who deserve a stable region and a better reality than wars and poverty,” he continued.

Returning to Iran, he said that the UAE looked forward to the Islamic Republic stopping its development of ballistic missiles and ceasing to arm terrorist groups.

“My country is particularly concerned that the restrictions imposed on Iran under the [2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] nuclear agreement are soon due to expire,” he said.

“Since the nuclear agreement did not achieve its desired outcome, we hope that this experience will be useful in achieving a more comprehensive agreement that addresses the concerns of states in the region and makes them key partners in drafting the terms of the agreement,” he said.


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