Friday 09 June 2023 - 8:27:41 am

Building enduring UAE-Germany partnership on shared values and high ambitions, Sheikh Abdullah tells Handelsblatt

ABU DHABI, 9th June, 2022 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has said that while the UAE and Germany celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations, the two countries are also clear-eyed about the challenges they will face in the next 50.

In an OpEd for Handelsblatt, a German-language business newspaper, he said, "In my meetings with my colleague Annalena Baerbock, Vice Chancellor Habeck and Christian Lindner, Federal Minister of Finance, we were forging the links that will strengthen our shared interests and values to better confront those challenges head-on. And as Germany pursues its policy of 'Zeitenwende,' or turning point, that will usher in a new era of foreign policy, finance, and energy, it will find in the UAE a true and reliable partner."

Here is the full text of Sheikh Abdullah's article.

"Two years ago, just weeks after signing the Abraham Accords establishing relations between the UAE and Israel, I met with my Israeli counterpart for the first time in Berlin. As part of that trip, we had the sobering honor of visiting the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazi regime. As I walked the rows of concrete slabs and reflected on this tragedy of human history created by bigotry and hatred, it struck me that the opposite values of tolerance, compassion, and acceptance had now united Israel, the UAE, and Germany in friendship and peace.

"As I visited Berlin this week, it was sadly clear that those values and the peace and stability they engender are increasingly under threat from war, from extremism, from climate change. So while this year we celebrate 50 years of UAE-German relations, we are also clear-eyed about the challenges we will face in the next 50. In my meetings with my colleague Annalena Baerbock and Vice Chancellor Habeck, we were forging the links that will strengthen our shared interests and values to better confront those challenges head-on. And as Germany pursues its policy of "Zeitenwende," or turning point, that will usher in a new era of foreign policy, finance, and energy, it will find in the UAE a true and reliable partner.

"Germany’s commitment to its foundational values has inspired extraordinary examples of mobilization over the last two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more recently, with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Since March, more than 700,000 refugees have arrived in Germany, 40% of whom are children. Among this great need, ordinary German citizens have stepped up to offer their support – from volunteering at arrival centers, to donating food and supplies, and even opening their own homes to refugees with nowhere else to go.

"For our part, the UAE is sending tonnes of emergency aid to Poland, Moldova, and to Ukraine itself to help those refugees and displaced persons most in need. The UAE also eased visa requirements to allow Ukrainian citizens to remain in our country while their homeland is afflicted by conflict.

"The UAE and Germany also share a commitment to tackling the global food crisis, which has been further intensified by the conflict in Ukraine. The UAE intends to join the Global Alliance for Food Security, convened by the Group of Seven (G7) Presidency and the World Bank Group, which was launched at the G7 Development Ministers meeting in Berlin on May 19.

But among the threats to global development and stability, perhaps none is as existential as climate change. In the face of this crisis, we must have the courage to reimagine our economies and work together to accelerate towards a net-zero future. Germany and the UAE are stepping up domestically, but we are also collaboratively pursuing solutions across continents to scale climate action.

As the birthplace of world-renowned automakers and home to Europe’s largest car market, Germany is taking bold steps to transition toward renewable energy, including recently announcing plans to phase out its dependence on internal-combustion engines by 2035 and transition to zero-emission vehicles in the next decade.

As a major hydrocarbon producer that fueled so many of those engines, we share the mentality that we too have a special responsibility to match words with actions. Reinforcing our progressive vision for a future based on clean energy, the UAE announced last year a goal of net zero emissions by 2050, which aligns with Germany’s ambition to reach net zero by 2045. As the host of COP28 in 2023, the UAE will highlight the critical role that the Middle East’s economic transformation will play in shaping the global response to climate change.

We are also working together to galvanize collective action to accelerate a broader energy transition. The UAE and Germany have launched an Emirati-German Hydrogen Task Force, which brings together stakeholders from our respective governments and industries to accelerate sustainable growth in energy security. We recently welcomed Vice-Chancellor and Economic Affairs and Climate Action Minister Robert Habeck to explore how hydrogen-based technology and infrastructure can strengthen Europe’s energy security.

Through actions such as these, we demonstrate how shared values and ambitious partnerships have shaped diplomatic relations between Germany and the UAE since our founding 50 years ago. As we look toward the future, the UAE and Germany will continue to strengthen this important relationship built upon our mutual desire to create a verdant and peaceful world for future generations."

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Amjad Saleh/Hazem Hussein