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UAE President’s Visionary Visit to Doha Lays a Foundation for the Future


The latest visit of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to Qatar is a positive portent, ushering in a bright new era in intra-Gulf relations, demonstrating exceptional diplomatic professionalism and embodying the leader’s pre-eminence concerning the issues discussed during the Al-Ula GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia and the outcomes of that event.

The wisdom of the UAE leadership has prevailed, opting to respond to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar, in an Emirati initiative to open a new chapter in bilateral relations between Doha and Abu Dhabi.

The two countries’ relations have faced numerous challenges in the past due to Qatar’s unfortunate misadventures, which cannot be discussed in detail here since tolerance is characteristic of the UAE and its leadership.
As numerous observers have noted, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is regarded as the pre-eminent symbol of tolerance and peace, not only in the Middle East but worldwide, with the UAE President gaining global renown for his significant contributions and wise action on a number of contentious humanitarian and political issues. In addition to playing a critically important role in resolving the Afghan conflict, he has also lent his support to the momentous diplomatic efforts that resulted in the hosting of discussions between Russia and Ukraine, during which he insisted that the solution to hostilities lies in diplomacy, not guns and drones.

Such visionary diplomacy is not unusual for the UAE, which has long promoted and advocated for tolerance and solidarity in the Gulf region. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s current visit, however, is part of the UAE’s clear and well-established strategy of showing leadership in enhancing all the positive attributes that strengthen Gulf societies during times of crisis, especially given the current tumultuous events worldwide. Furthermore, in light of this ongoing turmoil, the UAE and fellow Gulf states are endeavouring to play a significant role in ensuring the safety of global energy supplies, in addition to advancing their innovative initiatives to promote renewable and eco-friendly energy.

The summit between Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani featured discussion of the two countries’ warm fraternal relations and of ways to strengthen and advance cooperation in a variety of areas that benefit both countries’ mutual interests.

This summit also emphasises the strength of the bonds of brotherhood that bind the two countries and their peoples together, as well as the shared desire to strengthen them.

The World Cup in Qatar has been a duplication of the UAE’s own experience of hosting people of various nationalities on its soil, with citizens of the same diverse variety of nationalities attending and watching the matches in the World Cup tournament.

During the summit, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani welcomed the UAE’s President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, to Qatar, his second home, on behalf of all Qataris, and congratulated him on the occasion of the UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations. He wished the UAE and its people continued progress and prosperity under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and expressed hope that the visit would help to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly nations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, for his part, congratulated Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad and the Qatari people on the successful organisation of the 2022 World Cup, which he called a source of pride for all GCC states and the Arab world in general.

He also stated that Qatar’s success in hosting this global competition exemplifies the region’s and Arab countries’ ability to host various global events and successfully organise them with exceptional success and efficiency.

In their talks, the two leaders discussed the importance of strengthening the joint Gulf action system in order to achieve the interests and aspirations of the peoples of the Gulf Cooperation Council states for development, progress, and prosperity.

In this regard, Anwar Gargash, the UAE President’s diplomatic advisor, stated on Twitter that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Doha is “another step towards strengthening solidarity and joint Gulf action.” He emphasised that “the path of cooperation, integration, and coordination is a strategic Emirati choice toward achieving the Gulf states’ common aspirations.”

As observers have noted, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit will provide Qatar with an opportunity to establish strong relations with the other Gulf States that have shown support and assistance to Doha in organising and hosting the World Cup tournament. This supportive stance demonstrates these countries’ desire to achieve genuine reconciliation and shows that they have overcome previous problems and crises.

The ball is now wholly in Doha’s court. There is a need, however, for Qatar to reconsider its relations and association with Iran, which should, if anything, proceed in a cautious manner that does not jeopardise the interests of the other Gulf states, particularly since Iran wastes no opportunity to attack and inflict harm on the Arabian Gulf states.

By Maria Maalouf

Maria Maalouf is a Lebanese journalist, broadcaster, publisher, and writer. She holds an MA in Political Sociology from the University of Lyon. Twitter: @bilarakib 


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