European parliamentary officials have commended the international status of the UAE and its significant role in countering terrorism while speaking high of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan's declaration of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.
This came during a series of meetings Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council, FNC, now visiting the European Parliament, EP, in Brussels, had separately with Mairead McGuinness, First Vice President of the European Parliament; David Mcallister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, and Michele Alliot-Marie, Chairperson of the Arab Peninsula Committee of the European Parliament.
During the meetings, Al Qubaisi briefed the EP's officials on the humanitarian efforts made by the UAE, recently ranked the world's top aid donor in 2017 for the fourth time over the past five years.
McGuinness said the European Parliament attaches significant importance to the FNC's visit and to the exhibition organised by the Emirates Red Crescent to disseminate awareness about the humanitarian efforts being exerted by the UAE all over the world.
She indicated that the EP shares identical views with the UAE towards several issues, primarily regarding humanitarian and developmental work and countering terrorism and extremism as well creating a better future for generations to come. The top parliamentarian also commended the women's empowerment efforts made by the UAE and the growing importance attached by the leadership to promoting values of tolerance, gender equality, cultural diversity and equality of opportunities.
Mcallister underlined the privileged relations between the UAE and EP, noting that the UAE remains an important partner for the EP. At the end of their meeting, Mcallister was invited by Dr. Al Qubaisi to visit the UAE.
Michele Alliot-Marie hailed the recent declaration of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance by the UAE leadership. During the meeting Al Qubaisi said the upcoming visit by Pope Francis to the UAE, which is the first of its kind to the Arabian Gulf region, is an international testament to the valuable role played by the UAE in promoting the values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence and launching channels of dialogue between the followers of various religions and cultures.
She commended the significant developmental efforts made by the UAE, saying that it was a model to be copied in nation-building, "The European Union may utilise the Emirati experience in caring about the elderly and orphans."
Dr. Al Qubaisi underscored the importance of economic cooperation between the GCC States and the European Union, taking into account the fact that trade exchanges between the two sides amounted to US$143 billion in 2017.
She raised the possibility of forging a partnership between the Emirates Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross in organising joint exhibitions to showcase the humanitarian efforts around the globe.
Attending the meetings which took place at the EP HQ in Brussels, were the FNC delegation members along with Mohamed Issa Hamad Abushahab Al Suwaidi, the UAE Ambassador to Belgium, and FNC Secretary-General, Ahmed Shabib Al Dhaheri.