Riyadh [UAE], June 14 (TN/WAM): Khalifa Shaheen Almarar, Minister of State, headed the UAE delegation that participated in the second Ministerial Meeting of Members of the Arab League and Pacific Small Island Developing States, which was held today, Monday, June 12, 2023, in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Participants discussed ways to enhance cooperation between Arab and Pacific Island countries in various fields, stressing the importance of strengthening joint coordination at all levels to enhance relations and strengthen peace, stability and security regionally and internationally to contribute to the development and prosperity of Arab and Pacific Island countries.
Almarar stressed that the meeting was held within the framework of the common desire to enhance cooperation between Arab and Pacific Island countries following the positive outcomes of the first meeting of foreign ministers of these countries, which was held in the UAE on June 24, 2010. His Excellency stated the UAE’s keenness to strengthen its relations with Pacific Island countries, highlighting that His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited several Pacific Island countries in this regard.
He underscored the UAE’s aspirations to strengthen relations with Pacific Island countries in many areas, especially in the economic and trade fields, as the volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Pacific Island countries exceeded USD 100 million in 2022, and that the UAE seeks to increase the volume of non-oil trade to meet the aspirations of both sides. The UAE also aims to sign additional economic agreements with Pacific Island countries that will help promote economic and development cooperation between the two sides.
Almarar highlighted that the UAE will host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November 2023, which will provide an opportunity to discuss cooperation between the Arab and Pacific sides in addressing the challenges of climate change. The UAE looks forward to the effective and high-level participation of these countries and their support for its efforts to host this global event while highlighting its effective contributions to the climate action field.
The minister also reiterated the UAE’s commitment to opening additional channels of communication with Pacific Island countries to discuss opportunities for cooperation in areas of common interest and to conduct more mutual visits.
At the conclusion of the meeting, a joint statement was issued addressing a number of key issues for both sides. The statement stressed the importance of further cooperation between the Arab and Pacific sides in various fields to achieve common interests. (TN/WAM)