President Sheikh Mohamed and UK Defence Secretary discuss Israel-Gaza crisis

UAE leader reviews latest developments in Gaza with Grant Shapps

President Sheikh Mohamed received Grant Shapps, the UK's Defence Secretary, at Al Shati Palace on Thursday. Photo: Presidential Court
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President Sheikh Mohamed received the UK Defence Secretary at Al Shati Palace in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Grant Shapps is in the Middle East to hold talks as the UK tries to prevent an escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict and seize an opportunity to push for peace in the region.

During their meeting in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Shapps reviewed co-operation between the two countries in the field of defence.

They also discussed the latest developments in Gaza, as well as measures to de-escalate tensions and resolve a critical situation which threatens stability in the region.

Britain has so far declined to call for a ceasefire or ask Israel to delay an expected ground offensive in Gaza.

Britain has also sought to isolate Hamas by emphasising it does not speak for the Palestinian cause and saying there is “no scenario” in which it could maintain its hold on power in a peace agreement.

Mr Shapps visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia in January, when he led the now-defunct Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He took on the defence brief in August.

The meeting on Thursday was attended by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, Adviser for Special Affairs at the Ministry of the Presidential Court; Mohammed Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Khaldoun Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and member of the Executive Council; and the delegation accompanying the UK Defence Secretary.

Updated: October 26, 2023, 1:29 PM