His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has said that the UAE’s Armed Forces are an example to be emulated when it comes to their efficiency and use of advanced weaponry, for the way they guard the sanctity of the country’s borders – preserving its achievements and gains – and for taking the initiative to support brotherly countries when need be.
“Our Armed Forces have enabled our homeland to reach greater heights, and our soldiers have demonstrated the true character of Emirati sons. They have added powerful strength to our nation and deepened the level of loyalty and belonging to the homeland.”
Speaking to the military journal, ‘Nation Shield’, on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stated that the UAE Armed Forces’ officers have participated in thwarting an evil scenario to change the Arab identity of Yemen, and enabled the legitimate government there to rebuild its institutions and army and to ensure its control over most of Yemen, therefore foiling all attempts made to threaten international shipping in Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.
The full text of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s statement is as follows: “‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful’, Noble officers and soldiers, Dear sons and daughters of the UAE, Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you all…..
I have the pleasure of speaking to you on the 42nd anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces.
On this occasion, I always recall the details of a glorious march of hard, relentless work and indelible achievements; the details of a journey that is awash with challenges, but flowing with determination and hope.
Today, these memories look minute and dwarfed by the greatness of the enormous achievements of building a strong, modern national army, boasting world-standard combat readiness and capabilities to meet the Call of Duty. But it’s these very details that have made up the immense accomplishments we are living now; it’s the story of sincere men true to what they promised Allah, who completed their vows to the extreme and never changed their determination in the least.
I wish to see all the sons and daughters of the UAE as they celebrate this auspicious occasion, to contemplate the march of our Armed Forces and draw lessons from the glories achieved by our brave soldiers and take pride in their success.
Within our army, lies inspirational stories of human ambition and the humble beginnings of national projects. Here lies the story of the strong will that does not know the impossible; the story of men who foresee within the horizon what others cannot see, the story of a leadership that masters strategic planning and progress, a leadership that has committed itself to achieving the required programmes on time, a leadership that survives challenges and turns them into valuable opportunities.
We celebrate today the occasion of a national mission that has evolved into a grand achievement embedded with great meanings and implications. We celebrate a shining example of our country’s accomplishments across all walks of life. We celebrate a bright chapter in the story of building efficient, qualified and committed citizens dedicated to protecting the supreme interests of their country; a generation well-versed with the language and tools of their age and capable of keeping abreast of the surrounding developments, including variables, challenges and techniques.
Noble officers and soldiers, Dear sons and daughters of the UAE, Our celebration of the 42nd anniversary of the decision to unify the armed forces comes this year with a special and exceptional aura, as it coincides with the ‘Year of Zayed’, may God rest his soul in heaven. The founding father was the driving force behind the unification decision. He was the commander who laid the foundations for building our national army and tirelessly observed their development until the last day of his life.
I remember vividly that following the unification, Sheikh Zayed assigned us a plan of action with four components: Building a force with a strong conviction in defending our homeland and in supporting the just causes of our nation, adopting best-in-class military systems and practices in the world, ensuring the Emiratisation of military cadres from top to bottom ranks; and finally establishing defence industries.
Thanks to Allah, these goals have been achieved under the direct supervision of the Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, my brother His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and with the determination and follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Today, reality speaks for itself. What Sheikh Zayed wanted and dreamt of came true. Our armed forces are a model to be copied for efficiency and advanced weaponry, guarding the sanctity of our country’s borders and preserving its achievements and gains. They are taking the initiative to support our brotherly countries when asked to do so. Here are the sons and daughters of the UAE, the strength of our army with all their weaponry and sophisticated military systems; and here are our reserve forces, whose capabilities have been nurtured through our National Service.
Our defence industries meet a key part of our army’s needs, and in the same time we export to different world countries, and diversify our economy.
This 42nd anniversary is a celebration of the Year of Zayed, and thanks to Allah the Almighty we have lived until the day on which we can bear witnesses to the glorious age of our Founding Father, follow in his footsteps, and get inspired by his values, wisdom and gifts in advancing our nation along the path of prosperity and progress. We are doing so with confidence and efficiency, while consolidating the security and stability of our country, effectively contributing to our region and our world, and ensuring a bright present and a flourishing future for our children and grandchildren.
Valiant officers and soldiers, Sons and daughters of the UAE, You realise that our region is replete with tension, and in the same time has witnessed decades of heroism and adventures. Regional and international conflicts and rivalries are rampant over influence, lobbying and wealth. Some parties are unscrupulously waging direct wars, while others are launching proxy wars. This is in addition to what is known as the fourth generation warfare, now seen across different media organs and social media platforms.
We have experienced periods of war and turmoil before the establishment of our State, and we have always succeeded in protecting our homeland from their perils. We are aware of what is going on around us and are closely following up all developments and adamantly determined to spare our nation any potential dangers. And thanks to Allah Almighty and the bravery of our sons and daughters, we are able to deal with all types of challenges and we can face up to all potential dangers as we are strong enough thanks to our unity, the efficiency of our Armed Forces and our security apparatus, and the awareness of our people and their commitment and loyalty to their leadership and their support for the UAE rulers’ visions, plans, policies and decisions.
We fear none but Allah the Almighty, and we follow His Divine call in Noble Koran: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” We are ready for all scenarios and we keep our vigilance and preparedness always on top gear.
Dear officers and soldiers, Sons and daughters of the UAE, I take the opportunity of this national, patriotic occasion, which is dear to the hearts of every citizen in our homeland, to pay tribute to our brothers and sons participating in the Arab Coalition Forces Restoring Hope to brotherly Yemen, who are fighting the dark forces of terrorism and extremism.
I say to my sons and brothers on the front lines: the hearts of all Emiratis are with you and your families. We are closely following with all pride your heroic performance while fighting to establish security and stability in the liberated areas of Yemen.
We appreciate your sacrifices. We greatly value your support for the Yemeni people. We pray to God to ensure for you all a soon return to your families.
You have participated in thwarting an evil scenario to change the Arab identity of Yemen, and enabled the legitimate government there to rebuild its institutions and army and to ensure its control over most of Yemen, therefore foiling all the attempts made to threaten international shipping in Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea.
Our Armed Forces should be proud of their soldiers; these heroes are the fruits of good planting, efficient leadership and sustained efforts in areas of research, training and collection of practical data.
Our Armed Forces have enabled our homeland to scale greater heights, and our soldiers have shown their metals and the true character of the UAE sons. They have added powerful strength to our nation and deepened the level of loyalty and belonging to the homeland.
We look forward to the day on which the legitimate forces of Yemen ensure their full control over the country. The rightful is ultimately the victorious, no matter how long it takes. With the continued progress achieved by the legitimate forces supported by the Arab Coalition, a peaceful solution will remain always possible in Yemen. The door will remain open and the road is always clear under the UN Security Council resolutions and the initiatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Noble officers and soldiers, Sons and daughters of the UAE, Our preoccupations with the burning issues in our region have not and will not distract our attention from continuing to forge ahead with our ambitious developmental drive and to keep pace with the rapid changes taking place worldwide and which impact every activity in our lives.
As our Armed Forces continue to develop and modernise their capabilities, the development drive will persist in all domains to ensure the well-being and happiness of our citizens.
The development of efficient human resources will continue to be a priority for us, and we will tirelessly work for evolving an efficient public and university education system that keeps pace with the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Smart Cities, data revolution and knowledge flows.
We are ready for all these changes, both in terms of vitality and diversity of our economy, and efficiency of conventional and digital infrastructure.
We have successfully kept pace with the changes taking place over the past 30 years and are determined to move from just keeping pace with developments to be more involved in creating changes, and we are confident that we can do so.
Fellow citizens, Greet with me the leaders, officers and soldiers of our Armed Forces, our Security Apparatus and National Service conscripts.
This greeting is obligatory on the Day of our National Army, whose soldiers are present in every Emirati house as a father, a brother, a husband or a relative in the service or reserve forces.
I am proud of you and of my sons and daughters, and words are rather short of expressing our true feelings of appreciation of what your sons have given to us. We wholeheartedly realise and feel the suffering you have been through for having them away from your sight .
I am proud that our people offer martyrs with satisfaction and patience and that our country honors the martyrs in a manner befitting of their sublime status, embraces their families, honouring them in the way they truly deserve, and immortalising their indelible memory in the Oasis of Dignity.
I pray to God to accept our martyrs in His Heavens, to protect our homeland, to perpetuate the blessing of security, and to enable us to attain success in the service of our religion and our people.
Peace, mercy & blessings of God b upon you all.”
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs