A leading Emirati official has underlined the UAE's efforts to boost ties with Russia during an official visit to Moscow.
Saqr Ghobash, Speaker for the Federal National Council, spoke of the significant strides made to forge closer links between the parliamentary bodies of both nations during talks on Tuesday with Valentina Matvienko, who holds the same role for Russia's Federation Council.
Mr Ghobash stressed the UAE's desire to enhance co-operation with Russia in various fields, state news agency Wam reported.
“The establishment of the UAE-Russian Parliamentary Friendship Committee and the signing of the memorandum of understanding and co-operation by the Federal National Council and the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation are among the key milestones in the development of parliamentary relations, between the two nations,” he said.
Ms Matvienko highlighted the strength of bilateral and parliamentary relations between the countries.
“The UAE is one of the key economic partners of Russia in the Arab world, and the two nations seek to consolidate this partnership in consistent with their common interests,” she said.
The high-level meeting was attended by a parliamentary delegation accompanying Mr Ghobash and Mohammed Al Jaber, the UAE's ambassador to Russia.
Earlier this month, Mr Al Jaber was awarded the Order of Friendship by Russia.
The honour was presented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in recognition of Dr Al Jaber’s contributions to strengthening UAE-Russian relations.
UAE's parliamentary progress
The Federal National Council is made up of 20 representatives elected by the public and 20 appointed by UAE rulers.
The late President, Sheikh Khalifa, in 2018 ordered that the consultative body be equally represented by men and women, ahead of elections held the following year.
The council was established in 1971 and voting was introduced in 2006. Members hold office for four years.
Council members drawn from all seven emirates meet regularly to debate key issues, hold decision-makers to account and have their say on government policies.
The FNC’s main functions include passing, amending or rejecting federal draft laws, discussing international treaties and agreements, and offering recommendations on general subjects raised during sessions.
Federal draft laws must first pass through the FNC for recommendations when members can amend the laws to suit the needs of citizens. The draft laws are then forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration and approval.