Minister for Foreign Affairs visits United Arab Emirates

After completing her tour of the Mediterranean countries in the Southern Neighbourhood in 2020, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, has continued her tour of the Middle East by visiting the United Arab Emirates on 7 and 8 February.

She was received by the Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and held a political dialogue meeting with her counterpart, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The two ministers exchanged points of view on the new outlook for the Gulf Cooperation Council following its internal reconciliation and the normalisation agreements with Israel. The minister expressed her hope that this will be beneficial for reaching a two-State solution between Israel and Palestine, and also help bring an end to the conflicts in Yemen and Libya.

She was also received by the Minister for Home Affairs, His Highness Saif bin Zayed al Nahyan, with whom she addressed the fight against terrorism and de-radicalisation programmes. They signed an agreement negotiated by the Spanish Ministry of Home Affairs on security and the fight against crime.

At an economic level, the minister held a meeting with the CEO of the Mubadala Sovereign Wealth Fund and addressed the opportunities offered by the Spanish Recovery Fund to enhance the investment presence of the UAE in line with the economic transformation goals. Investment by the UAE is the most significant from this region in Spain, valued at 6 billion euros. In this region, the United Arab Emirates became the main destination for our exports to the Middle East in 2019. The minister also met with representatives from more than 200 Spanish companies that operate in the country.

In Dubai, the Minister for Foreign Affairs visited the Spanish Expo pavilion that will be inaugurated in October 2021, and held a meeting with the Managing Director of the World Expo and Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem el Hashimy.

In the field of education and culture, Arancha González Laya met with Noura al Kaabi, the Minister for Culture and Youth, who is interested in cooperating with Spain on cultural heritage and industries. The minister visited the first Spanish school in the UAE, opened last September, and held meetings with two associations of Spanish teachers and scientists, evidence of the vitality of the Spanish community in the country – the largest in the whole of Asia.

The minister also inaugurated the exhibition entitled “Women have the formula”, on the contribution of woman chemists to science.

Lastly, Arancha González Laya took the opportunity of her trip to visit IRENA – the international renewable energy agency, which Spain helped set up in 2009.







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