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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 March 2021

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed meets Boris Johnson to discuss stronger relations between UK and UAE

Talks on importance of peace and stability in Middle East

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the UAE's response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Thursday as he hosted Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in London.

Sheikh Mohamed tweeted that he had been warmly welcomed to Number 10 Downing Street by the British leader.

“It was a pleasure meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today,” he said.

“We discussed the importance of peace and stability in the Middle East and also strengthening and developing the relationship between our two nations.”

At Downing Street, Mr Johnson expressed his respect for the UAE’s swift and comprehensive response to the coronavirus crisis.

The UAE has had a rigorous testing campaign, with many residents tested several times over.

“Congratulations on the way the UAE has been able to handle Covid," he said.

"It’s been extremely effective. Really remarkable. You tested 17 million people, even though you have a population of 10 million, something like that.”

Sheikh Mohamed was also received by Prince Charles, the heir to the UK throne, at his residence in central London, where they reflected on the long and deep ties between the nations.

Mr Johnson said his country was eager to bolster ties with the UAE.

Officials have discussed upgrading investment accords and reaching a free-trade agreement.

“A deal with the UAE?” he told reporters at the famous black door. “You bet. Come in.”

Mr Johnson said he looked forward to enhancing the shared prosperity of both states.

“The leaders expressed their continued commitment to the relationship between the UK and the UAE and to strengthening our countries’ shared prosperity," Downing Street said.

"The prime minister welcomed the significant investments made by the UAE across the UK.

“They agreed to step up ties in a range of areas including green technology, infrastructure and defence.

“Ahead of the UK hosting Cop26 next year, the PM and Crown Prince agreed on the importance of tackling climate change and discussed how to work more closely to boost renewable energy production.

“The leaders also spoke about regional security and foreign policy issues, and the prime minister reiterated his support for the UAE’s recent agreement with Israel to normalise relations.

“The Prime Minister invited the Crown Prince to visit the UK again next year to build on our partnership further.”

The two countries released a joint statement following the meeting to emphasise their commitment to working together across trade and investment, research and development, climate change and the fight against Covid-19 and noted the importance of the Abraham Accord, signifying the foundation of diplomatic relations between the Emirates and Israel.

"The meeting also agreed upon the importance of shared values, including tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and respect for all cultures and religions," the statement said.

"The two leaders looked forward to the UAE’s 50th National Day celebrations, Expo 2020 Dubai, and meeting again next year to continue to develop the UK-UAE partnership for the future."

Updated: December 11, 2020 04:49 PM

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