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Abdullah bin Zayed: UAE keen to strengthen ties with Ukraine 1st add

Earlier, the UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his Ukrainian counterpart Kostiantyn Hryschenko, co-chaired the second meeting of the UAE-Ukraine Joint Ministerial Committee in the presence of top UAE officials.

In his welcome address, Sheikh Abdullah affirmed the UAE’s firm determination to expand joint political cooperation, calling for greater concerted coordination between Abu Dhabi and Kiev in issues of mutual concern at international forums.

He said the two-way trade exchange had reached US$ 500 million in 2011 and invited the Ukrainian government to take advantage of the UAE economic competitive edges like its strategic location in the Middle East, its state-of-the art infrastructure, trade and investment opportunities on offer in hope the UAE would become Ukraine’s number one trade partner in the Middle East.

Sheikh Abdullah said the Abu Dhabi meeting provides a fitting platform to explore more investment opportunities in new sectors for further strengthening bilateral relations in areas of economy, trade and investment.

The second meeting, the UAE foreign minister indicated, had discussed a broad range of issues concerning joint cooperation in diverse sectors as investment, trade, economy, small and medium scale enterprises, industry, health, oil and gas, energy, renewable energy, standardization and meteorology, higher education, defense, culture, justice, space, sports, customs and innovation.

Sheikh Abdullah unveiled that the UAE and Ukraine will sign during the upcoming visit of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to the UAE five agreements on air services, joint protection for classified information, and defense cooperation and memorandum of understanding on security cooperation, draft treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition of criminals.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his hope Ukraine would back the UAE bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. He said Kiev would host the third meeting of the joint committee.

For his turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko, said the two sides explored mechanism of boosting bilateral relations.

He referred to the meeting of the Ukrainian president with foreign ambassador accredited to Ukraine in which he stressed the importance of furthering bonds with the UAE.

The Ukrainian foreign minister said that the powerful business delegation accompanying him to the meeting had presented packages of promising investment projects in agriculture, shipbuilding and aviation industries.

Ukraine, he noted, had seen steady economic growth and created feasible business opportunities to attract Emirati investors since the first meeting of the joint committee.

The minister said he was impressed with what he had seen at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and expressed his country’s interest to benefit from the advanced technology in renewable energy and to encourage Ukrainian students to join the vital specialisation.

He added that around 100,000 Ukrainians visit the UAE every year for trade and tourism. He invited Emiratis to visit Ukraine and enjoy its cultural and tourist attractions.

At the end of the meeting, the two minister signed minutes of the second meeting of the joint ministerial committee.