UK-UAE relations ‘growing ever stronger’

WAM LONDON, 29th April 2013 (WAM) — With the state visit by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the United Kingdom due to commence tomorrow, (Tuesday), two leading British politicians have welcomed the visit.

The relationship between the two countries “is growing ever stronger,” according to Lord Howard of Lympne, a former British Home Secretary (Minister of the Interior) and chairman of the UK-UAE All Party Parliamentary Group, APPG.

Lord Howard, who is also a former leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, led an APPG group of parliamentarians to the UAE several months ago.

“I am delighted that our relationship with the UAE is growing ever stronger, and am looking forward to meeting the President when he comes to the UK,” Lord Howard told WAM.

“Our two countries have a wide range of shared interests and values, as I saw myself when visiting the UAE.” ” What also struck me on that visit was the progress that the UAE has made in diversifying the economy beyond the oil sector, and also the strides that it has taken forward towards the empowerment of women. We saw a high-tech manufacturing plant, for example, where 80% of the Emirati workers are female. This is setting the UAE up very well to compete in the world, to guarantee an economic future that does not depend on oil, and to be an increasingly influential player on the world stage,” Lord Howard said.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who visited the UAE earlier this month, said: “After experiencing the warm and generous spirit of Emiratis during my visit to the UAE, I am honoured to be able to return the favour by welcoming His Highness the President, Sheikh Khalifa, to London. I hope his trip to the capital is as enjoyable as mine was to the Gulf.” ” Although I cannot guarantee the same abundance of sunshine, I am confident that we can look forward to a strong partnership between our two countries for many years to come,” Johnson said.