Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed makes official visit to Austria

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi holds talks in Vienna with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Thursday made an official visit to Austria.

Sheikh Mohamed was welcomed on arrival at Vienna Airport by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince received a military guard of honour after touching down on the tarmac at the airport.

The warm greeting highlighted the strong friendship between the UAE and Austria which has spanned decades.

The tour, which ended late on Thursday, was aimed at further bolstering those long-standing ties.

Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Kurz later held talks on economic co-operation, tourism and Expo 2020 Dubai, of which Austria is a participant.

Regional and international issues were also on the agenda.

During the visit, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, signed a strategic partnership with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg at the Foreign Ministry in Vienna.

The agreement sets out a pathway to greater prosperity and development and calls on the two countries to work together more closely to achieve their goals.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Kurz as well as Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the board of directors of Abu Dhabi Airports, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, under secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Ibrahim Salem Al Musharreh, UAE Ambassador to Austria, plus Gernot Blumel, Austrian Minister of Finance and Margarete Schrambock, Minister of the Economy and a number of other officials.

The agreement was sealed as part of a joint declaration made by the two countries which reaffirmed their commitment to expanding their relations and driving growth.

"Relations between the UAE and Austria have witnessed significant progress during the past few years. These relations are built on mutual trust, respect, and shared interests to ensure continued development and prosperity for the people of both countries," read the declaration.

"This common purpose is underpinned by the understanding that both countries, as strong and trusting partners, are committed to promote the security, stability, and prosperity of their respective regions."

Mr Kurz stressed the importance the importance of the visit in helping to develop links between the nations.

Earlier, Mr Kurz said the Emirates was his country's most important trading partner in the Arab world and that Austrian direct foreign investment in the UAE totalled more than €7 billion ($8.31bn).

"The UAE is one of our most important partners in the Arab region ... and it is Austria's most important economic partner in the Arab world," he told state news agency Wam.

He said strong relations between the two nations brought benefits for all involved.

"The visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is a source of great pleasure and honour for us," he said.

Updated: July 29th 2021, 7:04 PM