A political solution is required to restore peace in Ukraine, Dr Anwar Gargash has told the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Political leaders and analysts have met for the three-day forum to discuss international issues and promote a fairer, more prosperous world.
Russia’s conflict with Ukraine is estimated to have caused more than 200,000 deaths, with both countries suffering severe economic damage — and the rest of the world has felt the fallout.
Dr Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President, said talks were the only way to restore peace and begin the global economic recovery.
"This Ukraine war has been an earthquake in international politics,” he said.
“Our position on Ukraine is clear. It is too simplistic to say we are neutral on Ukraine. The UAE is not neutral.
“The UAE is affected by the crisis and it is trying to find the right balance between our principles of security, stability and prosperity, and the necessity to find a political solution to the war.
“We do not think the crisis can be resolved militarily. We have seen this in World War One with the Versailles Treaty, when a country is defeated but rises again to change the international order.
“From this perspective, it is necessary to find a solution to the war in Ukraine.”
Dr Gargash said evolving threats to stability and security in the region changed the way the UAE viewed its strategic allies, with diplomacy a more important tool in maintaining peace than ever before.
Drone attacks on the UAE and Saudi Arabia, along with emerging threats to cyber security, have presented major challenges.
“The world today is more dangerous and more complicated. We are less assured of stability,” said Dr Gargash.
“We have always had a US support for security in the region, but is that going to be assured for the next 30 years?
“That is one of the big challenges. The region is more concerned of specific threats now.
“I don’t see a scenario like what happened with Kuwait, but more specific threats like terrorism, Afghanistan and Yemen, as well as cyber warfare, drones and missiles.”
Black swan events shook the globe
The forum was also told how the UAE emerged from a period of global turmoil and was now planning for the future.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and group chief executive and managing director of Mubadala, said a long-term plan for growth would help the UAE to tackle the effects of major international events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
“It has been a remarkable period since January 2020, with black swan events occurring in a short period of time that shook the entire globe,” he said.
“In everything we talk about going forward, we must consider the impact of Covid and a series of economic measures by governments that were unprecedented and the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The sanctions and geopolitical shift following that has had a huge impact.
“We have had to navigate these waters, navigate the storms and prepare for the future.”
Globalisation faces challenges
Mr Al Mubarak said principles of globalisation and collaboration were seriously tested in the early months of the pandemic, as nations looked to solve their problems at the cost of others.
It was only when the world came together to develop vaccines that the global recovery could begin.
“PPE was being hoarded and we learnt that did not work,” Mr Al Mubarak said.
“When the world started collaboration on vaccines, medical supplies and measures we were able to pull out of the pandemic.
“Globalisation is not dead but it is facing one of its biggest challenges.
"A new form of globalisation is emerging and it will shape itself along the China-US divide, Russian sanctions, the rise of India and the reconstruction of supply chains.
“The UAE is built on open trade and we support globalisation.
“Regardless of how this plays out, the UAE will do well, as we will continue to have a constructive approach to trading with the world.”