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Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for the Middle East and South Asia hosted the eleventh meeting of the UAE-UK Taskforce at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 21 October 2013.
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The UAE delegation was led by His Excellency Dr Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Ministers highlighted the continued success of the Taskforce in developing closer cooperation between the UK and the UAE since its launch in July 2010 by the British Prime Minister The Rt. Hon David Cameron MP, and the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Current regional and global issues were a main focus of discussions with Ministers reiterating the importance of working together especially on complex regional issues.. They welcomed the increased cooperation on international development especially in Somalia and in particular collaboration and strong support for the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative. Both countries have committed to £2m of joint funding.
Ministers acknowledged the good work being done under the UAE-UK Business Council which has helped increase bilateral trade taking both countries closer towards their 2015 target of £12 billion. They also welcomed the continuing collaboration on clean energy investment in particular efforts to increase low carbon investment in developing countries and agreed to seek out further opportunities.
The Taskforce noted the on-going cooperation on justice and law enforcement, welcoming the efforts on both sides in tackling issues of mutual concern such as financial fraud and asset recovery. Ministers also discussed next steps in developing closer consular cooperation including in crisis management and recognised the positive work of the UAE-UK Consular Committee in providing regular and effective dialogue on consular issues, important given the 100,000 British nationals living in the UAE and even more visitors.
Ministers welcomed the recent diplomatic skills exchange between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, agreeing to look for further opportunities to cooperate on similar initiatives.