The UAE should continue to work to improve relations with its neighbours while protecting its own interests, a top Emirati diplomat said.
Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, spoke at the second session of the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed titled "Security and Stability in our Changing World: A UAE Perspective".
He said that the UAE’s power lies in forging and maintaining regional alliances with all countries, including Iran, Turkey and Israel.
He said in an evolving world order, the rise of countries such as China and India will reduce the dominance of the US.
It will be more multipolar and less dominated by western countries.
"In the region, it is necessary to manage matters peacefully with countries that have different policies and views, by working on common grounds and by putting differences aside," Dr Gargash said.
"For example, Iran is a neighbour and we hope to establish best relations with it. We see that Turkey is a partner in our endeavour towards prosperity and we continue to support the prospects of the Abraham Accords.
"The UAE will not be a part of anything that harms any of its neighbours, especially Iran. We will always resort to diplomacy, negotiation, and economic co-operation.
"There must be respect for the sovereignty of states and the absolute rejection of the use of force in regional relations and rejection of the role of armed militias.
"We should work to push ahead regional joint co-operation to promote stability and prosperity and to build platforms to enhance investment, dialogue and co-operation between parties.
"We must always keep our options open and decide our course of action to protect our national interests, security and stability. In such a way, we will manage to maintain friendships and build new relationships."
Dr Gargash said that the UAE continues to face challenges and regional alliances are necessary to further the UAE's interests.
"Despite our great achievements, we must be fully aware that there are many challenges that we must deal with to maintain this success since we live in a changing world and a complex region. The secret of the UAE’s success lies in its ability to identify challenges, deal with them, and transform them into opportunities," he said.
"We face many challenges in our region, and perhaps the terrorist attacks that targeted our country on January 17 this year are just an example.
"UAE’s interests are above all other considerations and our focus is always our pure national interest."
Dr Gargash said the recent attacks made the UAE rethink and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the country's alliances.
“We were able to thwart these terrorist attacks but it was necessary to review the nature of our relationships and alliances and determine where we stand," he said.
"The region has become more complex because of militias. The increased use of missiles and drones poses a significant risk and could escalate regional tensions.
"Our focus is on how to safeguard ourselves and prosper. [We] cannot compromise the UAE's interests, which are above everything else.
"It is no secret that the UAE's policy in the coming decades will focus on protecting our country by building an efficient and professional military, establishing strong partnerships, and focusing on economic development.
"Our foreign policy will focus on building bridges, managing disputes, and building partnerships."
Dr Gargash also called for a ceasefire and an immediate diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis.
"It is important to call for a ceasefire and a quick political solution to avoid further serious repercussions. Here, I would like to add that this Ukrainian crisis will not be the last in an international order that has become accustomed to crises."
He said that turbulence in the region will continue and it is important to resolve differences.
"It is important for the UAE to monitor changes in the international order. This also helps the UAE to adapt its policies."
The lectures at the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis are held every Ramadan to promote learning and reflection.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Saif bin Zayed hosted the lecture.
Tuesday's talk will be broadcast on the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis YouTube channel, Al Emarat TV and other local TV channels on Thursday, April 14 at 5.50pm.
Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis was launched in 2006 on the directives of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to set up a platform for meaningful discussions during the holy month.