The UK-UAE Taskforce met for the fifth time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 22 June, marking 12 months since it was established. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Rt Hon. William Hague released a communique [PDF, 30.9KB, new window] to mark and commend the end of the first year of its work.
Over the last year the Taskforce has played a crucial role in strengthening the relationship between the two countries. The delegations for the fifth meeting, led by Alistair Burt MP, UK Minister for the Middle East and South Asia, and His Excellency Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, reflected on what had been achieved, including increased cooperation on defence, the fight against terrorism, and security issues such as aviation security and intelligence sharing. They welcomed the creation of a CEO Forum to strengthen commercial links and encourage the growth of business between the two countries.
The delegations looked forward to building on this excellent foundation and discussed shared priorities for future cooperation to deepen the relationship further including:
- joint action on global issues such as cyber security, renewable energy and international development
- close cooperation on regional issues including Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and the Middle East Peace Process
- increased business cooperation, including through the CEO forum, bringing together top level private sector professionals to facilitate networking between business
- deepening cultural and educational links, including increased awareness and celebration in both countries of the close ties between the UK and UAE
- deeper cooperation on defence and security issues.
The Taskforce was established in July 2010 following the visits of British Prime Minister David Cameron to the UAE, and HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the UK, with the intention of further strengthening the ties between the two countries.