Maliki lauds UAE's support

ABU DHABI // The prime minister of Iraq has praised the UAE for its leading role in assisting democracy and reconstruction of his country, following a visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The UAE was among the first nations to open up to Iraq following the war, reinforcing bilateral relations and supporting the democratic process, Nouri al Maliki said in a statement after the visit.

"The Iraqi people and political forces consider highly the UAE's supportive positions and its commitment to back up reconstruction efforts," he said. A high-level delegation, which included the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Interior Minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, and Abdullah al Shehi, the Ambassador to Iraq, travelled to Baghdad on an unannounced visit on Tuesday. Although their main purpose was to show support for the Iraqi government and to strengthen economic and political ties, the delegation also discussed possible sites for a new embassy.

Sheikh Abdullah visited Baghdad in June and announced the Government's decision to re-establish a diplomatic mission in Iraq. The UAE withdrew its most senior diplomat, a chargé d'affaires, from Baghdad in May 2006 after another diplomat was kidnapped by gunmen and held for two weeks. The visit "is a significant step towards developing relations with the UAE, particularly in political, economic and commercial fields", Mr Maliki said.

The trip makes Sheikh Mohammed the most senior GCC leader to visit the country since Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in 2003. The visit lasted several hours and included talks with Iraqi parliamentarians and officials, as well as the prime minister. Several countries have shown open support for Mr Maliki's government in recent months. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian foreign minister, arrived in Baghdad on Sunday, promising to reopen an embassy soon. He was the first Egyptian foreign minister to visit the country for 18 years. Other high-profile visitors have included King Abdullah of Jordan and Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, who both went in August.

Iraqi leaders anticipate that the relative decline in violence over the past 18 months will encourage other Arab states to re-establish diplomatic ties with the country. The UAE is one of the biggest contributors to aid in Iraq and in July wrote off the country's debts to the Emirates, which totalled nearly US$7 billion (Dh25.7bn).


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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