Gargash: UAE 'rejects military solution' to Ukraine crisis

Senior Emirati official Dr Anwar Gargash said diplomatic channels must be explored to avoid further violence

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, underlined the importance of 'encouraging all parties' to use diplomatic means to negotiate an end to the conflict. Photo: Supplied

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Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa, said the UAE would stand firm in its rejection of "military solutions" in Ukraine and called for a diplomatic resolution to the unfolding crisis.

Scores of civilian and military casualties have been reported after Russian forces entered Ukraine on Thursday.

More than 100,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries as Ukrainian cities including the capital, Kiev, came under attack.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Dr Gargash said the world was "facing a difficult test" and stressed the need to avoid further violence.

He underlined the importance of "encouraging all parties" to use diplomatic means to negotiate an end to the conflict.

"The world is facing a difficult test and severe polarisation imposed by the Ukrainian crisis, which threatens the foundations of the international community and increases the factors of instability," Dr Gargash wrote.

"From our experience in a region full of crises, we believe that political solutions and creating balances that enhance security and stability are the best way to confront crises and limit their effects.

"The UAE's position is firm on the basic principles of the United Nations, international law, state sovereignty, and its rejection of military solutions.

"We believe that alignment and positioning will only lead to more violence, and in the Ukrainian crisis, our priorities are to encourage all parties to adopt diplomacy and negotiate to find a political settlement that ends this crisis."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said it was particularly alarmed about "the consequences for civilians present in Ukraine, as well as for the region, and for the international community".

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, prioritise the protection of civilians, and allow the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Lana Nusseibeh, the Emirates' Permanent Representative to the UN, told the Security Council on Friday that the UAE was ready to work with fellow members to achieve de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities.

"Throughout this crisis, my country has consistently called for de-escalation and dialogue; we placed great hope in the various diplomatic initiatives and channels aimed at resolving the crisis. Those calls reflected our alarm at the consequences for civilians present in Ukraine, as well as for the region, and for the international community," Ms Nusseibeh said after the council voted on a draft resolution calling for Russia to withdraw its forces.

Russia vetoed the resolution, while 11 members voted in favour. The UAE, along with India and China, abstained as the resolution was defeated, which Ms Nusseibeh said was a "foregone conclusion".

“The result of this vote today was a foregone conclusion, but the avenues for dialogue must remain open more urgently than ever before, and we must pursue them together,” she said.

“Being from the Middle East, we are intimately aware of the critical importance of a stable regional security environment, and of de-escalation, diplomacy, and dialogue. Similarly, we understand from experience the need for inclusive and consultative processes.”

Ms Nusseibeh said the UAE supported the draft resolution’s emphasis on the need to adhere to the principles of international law and the UN Charter.

Updated: February 28, 2022, 5:19 AM