The UAE hosted the “7th Regional Technical Group Meeting of Counter-terrorism Confidence Building Measures for Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process” in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the meeting’s member countries, supporting countries, and other relevant regional and international organizations.
The meeting confirms the UAE’s keenness to combat terrorism and support stability, security and peace in Afghanistan, as well as its continuing efforts to support the Afghan people.
In his opening speech, Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Political Affairs, said that the UAE is also a victim of terrorism in Afghanistan, as six of its diplomats were killed in a terrorist bombing during the country’s last parliamentary elections.
Al Marar highlighted the importance of reinforcing the region’s security cooperation to face terrorist threats, under the framework of the security and anti-terrorism cooperation in Central Asia and the adoption of relevant strategies and joint programs, through exchanging information and finding joint methods of preventing extremism and terrorist recruitment in the region.
Al Marar also spoke about the terrorism prevention policies adopted by the UAE and its anti-terrorism legislation while noting that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree related to Law No. 02 for 2015 to criminalize the contempt of religions and their sanctities, combat all forms of discrimination, and reject all forms of hatred.
He also stressed that combatting terrorism in Afghanistan should take place in conjunction with the provision of development aid while pointing out that the UAE has provided development assistance through many projects, including the “Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed City Housing Complex in Qasba”, Kabul, in April, which aims to build more than 3,300 residential units at a cost of AED 708 million, and is part of the UAE government’s grant to Afghanistan worth AED 991 million. The total value of foreign aid provided to Afghanistan amounted to around AED414 million in recent years, he added.
The meeting was chaired by the UAE, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs