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UAE National Day reception stands out with nearly 1,000 guests attendingIncluding Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of Trade, Industry & Energy

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the United Arab Emirates in Seoul said, “I would like to express my appreciation for the strong bilateral ties that bring together the United Arab Emirates and the friendly Republic of Korea, the ties that are based on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect, and developed in recent years to the level of strategic partnership between the two friendly countries.” Speaking in a welcome address to the guests at a gala reception he hosted at the prestigious Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Dec. 1, 2016 in celebration of the 45th anniversary of her independence, Ambassador Al Nuaimi then said, “The mutual visits of the leaders of our two countries, the growing levels of trade and economic, culture, health and other exchanges, are standing witnesses on the strength of the relationships that bind our countries in all fields.”

Among other remarkable developments in the UAE, the advancement in the economic sphere stood out from the congratulatory speech of Ambassador Al Nuaimi. He said: “The UAE economy has become increasingly more diversified and sustainable with the Gross domestic product (GDP) reaching around USD430.517 billion in 2015.”(See excerpts from his speech toward the end of this article.)

Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of MOTIE and Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the UAE (12th and 14th from left, respectively) poses with other ambassadors.

Ambassador’s welcome speech was followed by a congratulatory address by Minister) Joo Hyung-hwan of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) who gave it on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea.

Minister Joo said, “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and the United Arab Emirates in 1980, the relationship between them has been only getting stronger and driven by strong cooperation in the field of energy and plant construction, our bilateral relationship has evolved into a strategic partnership.” Then he noted, “Above all, by signing a contract of construction work and operation and management for the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant project, we have paved our shared path for the next 100 years.” (See excerpts from the speech Minister Joo at the end of this report.)

The luncheon reception was attended by many important personalities who included, from the Korean government, Minister Joo, and the leaders of various other government and public organizations. From the Korean and international media organizations came a number of publishers and editors who included Publisher-Chairman of The Korea Post media, publisher of three English and two Korean-language media outlets (eg.,www.koreapost.co.kr, www.koreapost.com and http://pdf.koreapost.co.kr/20/2001.pdf).

Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of MOTIE delivers a congratulatory speech.

From the Foreign Diplomat Corps and other segments of the international community in Korea came ‘almost all the ambassadors and their spouses’ together with their senior diplomats and defense attaches. Among them were Ambassadors Elisabeth Bertagnoli of Austria, Ramzi Teymurov of Azerbaijan, Guadalupe Palomeque de Taboada of Bolivia, Dato Paduka Haji Modh Rosli Bin Haji Sabtu of Brunei Darussalam, Petar Andonov of Bulgaria, Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla of Colombia, Rodolfo Solano Quirós of Costa Rica, Tomas Husak of Czech Republic, Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo of Dominican Republic, Oscar Gustavo Herrera Gilbert of Ecuador, Hany Moawad Selim Labib of Egypt, Shiferaw Jarso Tedecha of Ethiopia, Gerhard Sabathil of Delegation of The Europan Union, Nikoloz Apkhazava of Georgia, Herbert Estuardo Meneses Coronado of Guatemala, Michel Idiaquez Baradat of Honduras, Hassan Taherian of Iran, Aingeal O’onoghue of Ireland, Adel Mohammad Adaileh of Jordan, Mohamed Abdi Gello of Kenya, Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi of Kuwait, Askar Beshimove of Kyrgyzstan, Khamsouay Keodalavong of Lao Republic, Peteris Vaivars of Latvia, Otman S. Saad Ahbara of Libya, Dato Rohana binti Ramli of Malaysia, Ganbold Baasanjav of Mongolia, Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman, Zahid Nasrulah Khan of Pakistan, Antonio Quintero Nobre of Portugal, Mohammed Bin Abdalla Obaid Al-Dohaimi of Qatar, Alexander Andreevich Tomonin of Russia, Mamadou Ndiaye of Senegal, Milan Lajciak of Slovak Republic, Nozuko Gloria Bam of South Africa, Gonzalo Ortiz Diaz-Tortosa of Spain, Niroshani Manisha Dias Abeywickrema Gunasekera of Sri Lanka, Mohamad Abdelaal of Sudan, Yusuf Sharifzoda of Tajikistan, Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Myrat Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine and Mumba Smyth Kapumpa of Zambia. There were many more ambassadors whom we might have left out.

Ambassador Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi of the UAE speaks to the guests on the occasion of the National Day of his country at Hotel Shilla on Dec. 1.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE:

The UAE celebrates on December 2, 2016 the 45th National Day anniversary. On this day in 1971, we witnessed the unification of the Emirates that brought with it prosperity, stability, and security to the Emirati people.

UAE National Day is a day of great pride. National Day marks not only an occasion where the successes achieved over the last 45 years by our nation are celebrated, but also provides a time to reflect upon the legacy left by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The incredible achievements of the UAE, borne out of the foresight and vision of His Highness Sheikh Zayed, and his fellow leaders of the UAE’s constituent Emirates, are a testament to what can be achieved through dedication, toil, unity, and commitment.

This vision of the UAE’s forefathers is something that is respected and strongly adhered to by the UAE’s current leadership. Under President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his brothers Their Highnesses members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates the UAE Government has remained dedicated to ensuring the ongoing advancement, prosperity, and happiness of the Emirati people.

An ice work to celebrate the 45th National Day of the UAE

The political, economic, and social development of the UAE is an achievement that has been made possible due to a gradual and balanced approach, whereby UAE decision makers have consistently taken into consideration the international and regional environment and the unique nature of the country, and it's historical, cultural, and religious conditions when embarking upon political change.

In spite of all the dramatic changes that have engulfed the Middle East and the world over recent years, the country's foreign policy has remained faithful to the principles laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These principles are based upon the country’s commitment to the rules, charters, and laws of international human rights, as well as moderation, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Critical to the UAE’s international approach has been a focus upon humanitarianism and assistance to those in need. The development, humanitarian, and charitable assistance provided by the United Arab Emirates over the last 45 years has covered more than 21 sectors, spanning 178 countries. This aid has been extended with the explicit aim of improving the lives of human beings, no matter their location, race, or creed, and is a policy that made the UAE one of the world’s most generous aid donors.

Defense attaches of various countries pose with Minister Joo and Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE (12th and 17th from left, respectively) as well as UAE Defense Attache Colonel Saeed Al Naqbi (16th from left).

Buttressing the UAE’s regional and international role has been our country’s continued economic growth. The UAE was able to absorb and overcome the negative effects of the global financial crisis, which continues to plague many of the world's economies. The UAE economy continues its march towards growth and comprehensive development, with a considerable focus on the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Most importantly, the UAE economy has become increasingly more diversified and sustainable. Gross domestic product (GDP) has reached around AED 1.58 trillion (USD 430.517 billion) in 2015, compared with AED 1.47 trillion in 2014, and the contribution of non-oil sectors to the UAE’s GDP has risen significantly, accounting for more than 76% in 2015.

On this historical occasion, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his brothers Their Highnesses members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates and to the Government and people of the UAE on the occasion of the National Day.

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for the strong bilateral ties that bring together the United Arab Emirates and the friendly Republic of Korea, the ties that are based on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect, and developed in recent years to the level of strategic partnership between the two friendly countries. The mutual visits of the leaders of our two countries, the growing levels of trade and economic, culture, health and other exchanges, are standing witnesses on the strength of the relationships that bind our countries in all fields.

Minister Joo, Ambassador Al Nuaimi and Defense Attache Colonel Al Naqbi (10th, 11th and 12th from left, respectively), pose with other members of the UAE Embassy in Seoul.

Excerpts from the speech of Minister Joo of MOTIE:

It is my great pleasure to join you today. I am Joo Hyung-hwan, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea.

I am honored to take part in this 45th UAE National Day Celebration. On behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of Korea, I’d like to extend my sincere congratulations to the UAE, which marked the dawn of a new era 45 years ago today. Allow me to take this opportunity to express my warmest congratulations to newly appointed ambassador Abdulla Al-Nuaimi.

Since its independence in 1971, the UAE has been transforming what the world could once only imagine into a reality. On top of its blazing sand that reaches beyond 50 degrees Celsius, the UAE has built an indoor ski resort, the Palm Islands - known as the largest artificial islands on earth - and BurjKhalifa - the world’s tallest building.

From left: Colonel Francis Eurgenio Lardizabol, Jr. of the Philippines, Colonel Abbdul Malic bin Ali of Malaysia and US Air Force Colonel Jaime Schofield.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1980, the relationship between Korea and the UAE has been only getting stronger. Driven by strong cooperation in the field of energy and plant construction, our bilateral relationship has evolved into a strategic partnership. Above all, by signing a contract of construction work and operation and management for the Barakah Nuclear PowerPlant project, we have paved our shared path for the next 100 years.

During my visit to the UAE in last October, I was able to personally witness “Our seemingly impossible project of building a nuclear power plant in the desert” progressing smoothly under our close cooperation. I was also at the signing ceremony for the joint venture agreement on operation and maintenance of Barakah units.

Moreover, I could see the willingness of the UAE government to build a strong partnership with Korea for our shared future on the basis of successful implementation of the Barakah project during my courtesy call to the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and a bilateral meeting with the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

An estimated 1,000 guests of all nations listen to the National Day speech of Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE.

I heard that there is an Arabian proverb that goes, “When you are going on a long journey, find a good friend to go with you”.

I can say with confidence that choosing Korea for the Barakah project was an excellent choice for the UAE since Korea can be a good and sincere friend of the UAE in journey for the next 100 years.

Korea and the UAE have much in common. On the basis of geographical advantages, outstanding human resources and spirit for ceaseless challenges, Korea achieved “the Miracle on the Han River,” and the UAE “the Miracle in the Desert,” both of which are the envy of the world.

Moreover, thanks to our truly complimentary economic structures, we have infinite potential lying ahead of us. In this respect, let me propose some of the priority tasks on which we should work on together in the years ahead.

First, Korea and the UAE should make their best endeavors for the timely and safe completion of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plants. If we could complete the work by the end of October next year in conjunction with the Ministerial meeting of the IAEA, we will be able to showcase our proud accomplishment to the rest of the world.

Moreover, as the UAE will become the first among the 22 Arab League countries to own a nuclear power plant, it will be able to realize shifting toward a non-oil dependent economy. At the same time, theinternational community will highly recognize the UAE for its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, Korea and the UAE should expand investment cooperation. Korea is well aware of the UAE’sendeavors to diversify its industries with a view to moving away from the current oil dependent economy. I am sure that Korea will make a very good partner to the UAE for investment cooperation thanks to its excellent manufacturing base, innovative capabilities, extensive FTA network that closely connects it with the global market as well as its favorable environment for foreign investors.

Third, Korea and the UAE should explore new areas for cooperation, such as health, medical care and culture, while continuing cooperation in energy, plants and other existing areas.

The Korea Post media (publisher of five media organs) editors pose with Ambassador Al Nuaimi of the UAE. They are, from left, Feature Editor Choi Yun-seok, Korean-language Editor Ms. Linda Youn, (Ambassador Al Nauaimi), Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik, Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk.

As of today, the trade volume of the two countries has been largely affected by the international oil price due to our energy and plant centered partnership.

While the establishment of the Korean Cultural Center and the Royal Hospital Sharjah are two good examples of our diversified cooperation efforts, we should continue to expand the breadth and depth of our cooperation.

I know that the National Day celebrates not only the UAE’s independence45 years ago but also the union of seven emiratesfor the first time in the Middle East.

Recognizing the importance of cooperation earlier than others in the region, the UAE could achieve the miracle in the desert by making the most of its superb imagination and creativity based on the union of seven emirates.

Likewise, I hope that Korea and the UAE will open a new chapter of bilateral relations for next 100 years based on the spirit of cooperation, creativity and innovation.

Let me conclude my speech by once again expressing my sincere congratulations onthe UAE’s 45th anniversary, and I wish for the UAE’s eternal prosperity and a long-lasting friendship between our two countries.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

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