UAE (May 17, 2022)—The top US and Emirati diplomats met over dinner to look at ways of “expanding” ties, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Monday.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Antony Blinken had a “business dinner,” where they discussed bilateral ties and “explored avenues of expanding cooperation in various fields.”
Blinken was in the UAE as part of a high-ranking delegation dispatched by President Joe Biden to offer condolences after the death of former UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
“The two sides also reviewed a number of regional and international issues of interest, including the latest developments in the Ukrainian crisis,” WAM reported.
For his part, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said the UAE was looking forward to strengthening ties with the US under the newly elected president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.
The Emirati FM said the new president would look to “consolidate the pillars of security and stability in the region to achieve development and prosperity for its peoples.”
Diplomatic Adviser to UAE President Anwar Gargash, Chairman of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority Ali Saeed Al Neyadi and UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba were also at the dinner.
The United Arab Emirates will continue to implement a 50-year plan to innovate and diversify the economy under its new President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the official WAM news agency reported on Sunday.
The UAE Centennial Plan 2071 is a long-term plan that extends over five decades, after being launched last year, and aims to form a clear roadmap for the government to follow to fortify the country’s reputation and its soft power. Aiming to invest in the future generations, the plan intends to prepare them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed, fortify the UAE’s reputation, and fulfil the country’s goal of becoming the best country in the world by 2071.
As outlined by the government’s official website, the plan is based on four pillars: a future-focused government, excellent education, a diversified knowledge economy, and a happy and cohesive society.
“His Highness’ vision is focused on relying on knowledge, innovation and investment in people, enhancing the role of the private sector as an active partner in the economic landscape, promoting investment incentives, and ensuring more economic diversification, while continuing to maximize utilization of oil and gas resources and enhancing the nation’s ability to produce more renewable and clean energy in the coming decades,” the WAM report stated.
It added that Sheikh Mohamed’s vision stemmed from the efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, founder and first president of the UAE, and the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, “to tap into new resources” and utilize the country’s potential.
“We think and plan for the next fifty years, and for the benefit of next generations, by building a diversified, solid and sustainable economy that does not depend only on traditional resources and opens promising prospects that contribute to strengthening the foundations and capabilities of the nation,” WAM quoted Sheikh Mohamed as saying at the opening of the 2015 World Governments Summit.
The UAE retreat on Post-Oil Phase in 2016, which Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai took part in, was a key part of the country’s plans for the next decades, WAM said, as the UAE’s economy at the time was more reliant on oil. It aimed to develop the country’s non-oil sectors and enhance the UAE’s global position by implementing government strategies that aimed to diversify the economy.
“The UAE has succeeded in establishing its status as an economic capital in the region and an ideal business landscape with world-class digital infrastructure, services, security, and competitive investment benefits,” Sheikh Mohamed tweeted in September 2021, reflecting on the country’s economic success.
“The launch of our new economic campaign aims to secure the UAE’s position as one of the strongest global economies over the next 50 years,” he added.
On Saturday, the UAE’s Federal Supreme Council elected Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed as President of the UAE, making him the country’s third-ever president.
His succession comes after the late President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed passed away on May 13.
Source: UAE and Alarabiya News contributed.