H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed affirms UAE’s solidarity with OIC, Arab League in combating COVID-19.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has re-affirmed the UAE’s support for efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to provide all possible forms of support for OIC member states in line with the humanitarian principles and teachings of Islam.
This came in a message sent by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to OIC Secretary-General Yousef Bin Ahmad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Othaimeen, wherein he emphasised the UAE’s keenness to foster cooperation and coordination between all OIC member states in times of distress out of the country’s solid belief in the values of unity and brotherhood upheld by the Islamic faith.
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah sent a similar message to Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, wherein he underlined the UAE’s support for all Arab nations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheikh Abdullah also hailed the role of the Arab League in coordinating pan-Arab efforts to weather the health crisis.
In the two messages, the UAE’s top diplomat reviewed several humanitarian initiatives carried out by the UAE since the onset of the pandemic.
“The UAE has sent aid to around 40 countries, including over 410 tonnes of medical assistance. The UAE also collaborated with the World Health Organization and its partners to send more than 80 percent of the WHO’s global medical response in the fight against COVID-19 through the International Humanitarian City, one of the biggest humanitarian hubs in the world, which facilitated the dispatch of essential supplies to combat the novel virus during the first three months of 2020,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
He praised efforts by the OIC Secretary-General in launching a joint initiative with the Islamic Development Bank to set up a Strategic Preparedness and Response Facility to support member states that are the most vulnerable to the repercussions of the pandemic on the health, social, and economic levels.
Sheikh Abdullah underscored the importance of advancing diligent efforts to combat the virus by reaching ceasefires in conflict zones in the Islamic world, urging all warring parties to put an end to all acts of aggression and forge peaceful solutions to their differences.
“The entire world is currently going through tough times and challenging circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which infected more than three million people and resulted in over 228,000 deaths all over the world, not to mention its global economic fallout and drastic impact on the labour, health, trade, and financial sectors. These repercussions entail concerted action and global synergy at all levels to survive the crisis,” added Sheikh Abdullah in the two messages.
Sheikh Abdullah briefed the Arab League Secretary-General on the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the UAE to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the evacuation of UAE citizens and their companions stranded abroad following the global travel restrictions, in addition to facilitating the repatriation of expats wishing to return to their home countries. He also highlighted the establishment of 14 drive-thru testing facilities across the country, the provision of more than 1.2 million COVID-19 tests, and the National Disinfection Programme, in addition to adopting smart technology and innovative solutions in managing the crisis.
He supported the Arab League Secretary-General’s call to end all conflicts in order to confront the health crisis. “I see eye to eye with His Excellency Aboul-Gheit in his view that it is high time for silencing cannons and defusing conflicts so that we can dedicate all efforts to confront the pandemic. The Arab world is in need of collective action,” he said.
“There is an urgent need to look into the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis on the Arab world in the future and to study how joint Arab action can be revived to confront the challenges of the pandemic,” he said, noting the necessity of developing a proactive strategy and a joint plan to strengthen the food security sector in the Arab world in a way that ensures the sustainability and viability of food supply chains. 
Sheikh Abdullah also called for innovation in the pharmaceutical industry and health sector and the revival of the Arab strategy on health and the environment and its strategic action guidelines (2017–2030), which were adopted at the Arab League Summit convened in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on 15 April 2018.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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