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UAE’s sophisticated diplomacy a vital lynchpin for regional security, stability, says NATO official

UAE’s sophisticated diplomacy a vital lynchpin for regional security, stability, says NATO official
10 July 2024 19:46

MOHAMMAD GHAZAL (WASHINGTON, DC)

NATO enjoys strong relations with the UAE and relies on its sophisticated diplomatic prowess to advance stability and security in the Middle East, a top NATO official said.

“We do have a strong relationship with Abu Dhabi… The UAE plays and continues to play an important role in the region,” Javier Colomina, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said in an exclusive interview with Aletihad on the sidelines of the Alliance’s 75th summit in Washington, DC.

During the interview, the NATO official highlighted the UAE as a crucial partner in combating terrorism and fostering regional stability, stressing that the Alliance recognises the UAE's significant contributions in this regard.

In 2012, the UAE became the first and only country in the Middle East and North Africa region to open a mission to NATO. 

“The UAE enjoys a very sophisticated diplomacy and we count on that in order to provide some traction to the stability that we want to see in the region,” he said.

Colomina said that the Alliance’s cooperation with Abu Dhabi extends beyond counterterrorism, and includes maritime security and climate change initiatives, adding that the UAE's pivotal role in the region and its active participation in these areas are highly valued by NATO.

“We are satisfied with our partnership with the UAE,” he said.

Highly lauding the UAE-hosted  2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), he said: “We were very happy to see the success of COP28 in the UAE and this is one of the areas that we will make stronger in the next years.”

He added that NATO is working on boosting its leading role in the field of climate change and security, noting that the alliance started working with partners on assessments and lessons learnt in this regard and how climate change is affecting security.

Highlighting the Alliance’s efforts to counter terrorism, he said NATO has worked with partners in this regard and the UAE is very active in fighting terrorism.

Referring to the 2004 Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), which includes four Gulf countries, including the UAE, and aims to contribute to long-term global and regional security by offering non-NATO countries in the broader Middle East region the opportunity to cooperate with NATO, he highlighted successes over the years.

“The ICI has been quite a success story in the past 20 years and we are keen to expand cooperation with the Gulf countries,” he added.

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