UAE aware of threats facing the region: Khalifa


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Abu Dhabi : United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said the country is aware of the threats facing the region but has been able to counter it by constructive engagement and a judicious foreign policy, WAM news agency reported Saturday.

In a statement marking the 31st anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces Unification Day, Sheikh Khalifa said: "Over the years, we have been conscious of the scale of these threats but the country's judicious and balanced foreign policy has served as a safety valve".

He added: "Since the inception of our country, we have pursued a policy that is based on the principles of non-interference in the affairs of other countries, resolution of regional and international conflicts through peaceful means, and supporting just causes within the framework of international law".

With this even-handed policy, the UAE has been able to ward off potential problems through constructive engagement, he said.

Khalifa said in an interview with Dir Al Watan Magazine, a publication of the UAE Armed Forces: "Our country has gained respect among the comity of nations, thanks to our firm foreign policy. Owing to this policy, we have also been able to foster cordial relations with many friendly and sisterly countries in addition to international organisations".

President Khalifa, who is also the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, lauded the domestic role of the Armed Forces, saying there "first and foremost duty is to serve the UAE people and offer help when and where ever the need arises".

On the external mission of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Khalifa said the UAE army has reached out to the distressed people who have been afflicted by natural and man-made disasters. In embarking on such missions, the UAE army has proved to be the best representatives of our values and culture.

Their noble mission has won the hearts and minds of many people around the world, said Sheikh Khalifa.

Sheikh Khalifa also paid tribute to the retired officers, saying they devoted their entire youth to military service and must now be felicitated and honoured.