President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi is travelling today to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss issues of mutual concern. Al-Sisi is scheduled to meet with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to discuss the strategic bilateral cooperation and mechanisms to further develop them in various fields. During the meeting both leaders are due to talk about recent regional and international developments of mutual concern.
The UAE is Egypt’s strategic ally as their relations goes back to 1971, when a federation was created between seven Emirates, currently the UAE. Recently, there has been close coordination between the UAE and Egypt on main regional issues such as the Palestinian cause, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. Both countries have closely cooperated in combating terrorism and extremism.
The UAE was one of the Gulf countries which strongly supported president Al-Sisi since he came to office in 2014. President Al-Sisi has been always reiterating that Gulf security is part of Egypt’s security, as he constantly stresses Egypt’s readiness to confront any aggression if the security of the Arab Gulf is exposed to any threat, which confirms both countries’ sturdy relations.
Ahmed Hafez official spokesman to Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry told 7Dnews Al-Sisi's visit to UAE comes within the framework of continuous coordination and communication between the two brotherly countries, based on distinguished fraternal relations between them, aiming at Arab and regional stability, in light of escalating regional and international challenges. “The president’s visit to UAE comes at a very important time, as the region is going through many variables that require mutual coordination,” said Hafez.
Hafez noted, the political track of Egyptian-UAE relations, and its focal points and strength is reflected in the convergence of positions on many regional issues such as combating terrorism and Egypt’s consistent and firm support for the stability and security of the Gulf. The president, he emphasised, always stresses that the security and stability of the Gulf is that of Egypt's security and stability, and is an essential pillar of Arab national security and a cornerstone of security, stability and prosperity in the region.
According to Hafez, Egypt’s diversified relations with the UAE include business, trade, military, and political aspects. The Central Bank of Egypt’s statistics illustrate that Egypt’s trade exchange with the UAE increased by 6.5% during the fiscal year 2017/18 up to $5.822bn from $5.815 in 2016/17.
Ambassador Gamal Bayoumi, former assistant minister of foreign affairs and secretary general of the Arab Investors Union, told 7Dnews that Egypt has solid relations with the Arab Gulf states, particularly with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He added, “Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan established remarkably sturdy relations with Egypt. He was the UAE’s Godfather sand-ruler of Abu Dhabi for 38 years. He is the founding father and the principal driving force behind the formation of the UAE.”
Bayoumi pointed out that the UAE hosts many Egyptians in the economic and productive sectors, in addition to academic and research fields, and has contributed over the decades to the development, construction and success achieved by the UAE. Members of Egyptian community work alongside their brothers in the UAE in a climate of tolerance and motivation to achieve the best performance, in addition to pushing for the acquisition of skills and engage in community work.
“Egyptians highly appreciate the founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who sowed the seeds of tolerance, development and stability in the UAE today, led by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” said Bayoumi.