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The Property Industry in Dubai: A Positive Force for the UAE

Aug 6, 2008
The President of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki on bilateral ties and the situation in Iraq. In an attempt to restore a full diplomatic mission in Baghdad, evidence of Iraq's improved security and growing acceptance of its Shiite-led government.

According to media sources, during the meeting, held in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Khalifa told Al Maliki about the UAE's decision to write off the Iraqi debt and interest worth $4 billion (Dh14.b)

"The UAE's decision to write off the Iraqi debt is an expression of brotherhood and solidarity between the two countries. It also aims to assist the Iraqi government in the implementation of reconstruction plans and the rehabilitation of state institutions and various facilities," the President said .

He also added that the decision would help improve the Iraqi economy, back the restoration of security and stability in Iraq and ease the burden on Iraq's economy, institutions and people. Shaikh Khalifa reaffirmed that the UAE would spare no effort to provide all forms of financial and moral support to Iraq.

Shaikh Khalifa also noted that "the restoration of security in Iraq is the cornerstone in rehabilitation and resumption of its active regional and international roles" adding that there was a need to assist Iraq to achieve those goals, citing that the UAE had decided to re-open its embassy in Baghdad.

The president called on the Iraqi people and political spectrums to "back their legitimate government and eschew sectarian violence to help Iraq regain its stability and security."

Al Maliki expressed his gratitude for the UAE's initiative and said: "It reflects the fraternity between the peoples of UAE and Iraq. The UAE's decision to write off the debt will enhance the credit position of the Iraqi economy and spur the restoration of security and stability."

The Abu Dhabi government announced the debt relief and the naming of a new ambassador to Baghdad shortly after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began a visit to the wealthy Gulf nation.

As was reported in the media, "The news was sure to bolster al-Maliki's government, which has been urging Iraq's Sunni Arab neighbors to forgive loans made during Saddam Hussein's regime and restore diplomatic relations.

Al-Maliki, who has been in office since May 2006, thanked the UAE for the debt cancellation, telling local businessmen it was a "swift and courageous" decision."

The Emirates' official news agency, WAM, quoted the president, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as saying he "hopes canceling the debt would lighten the "economic burden" facing Iraqis and he urged the country to unite behind al-Maliki's government."

As is reported worldwide, "Iraq has been appealing for relief of at least $67 billion in foreign debt -- owed mostly to Arab nations that have been reluctant to forgive Iraq's belligerence during Saddam Hussein's regime."

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the U.S. welcomed the UAE decision to cancel the Iraqi debt, appoint an ambassador and reopen their embassy in Baghdad. As he states: "We appreciate the Emiratis' recognition that a secure and prosperous Iraq is in the interests of everyone in the region. Prime Minister Maliki and the government of Iraq should also be applauded for their continued outreach to their neighbors, and their efforts to advance a positive agenda through regional diplomacy," said Johndroe.

However, this positive move is not supported by all faction sin the region, as it has been reported that "Sunni militant groups like al-Qaida in Iraq, mistrustful of the government, have warned Arab states not to open embassies in Baghdad."

In response to these reports, Al-Maliki chided his Arab "brothers" at an April conference of Iraq's neighbors in Kuwait, saying he found it "difficult to explain why diplomatic exchange has not taken place."

As the mood is positive for change and reconciliation, one can hope for the best, and that the political parties involved in this positive mode of change be true to their words, further ensuring that the UAE remain a country of great opportunity and positive reform.
About the Author
Property Select offers a comprehensive selection of overseas Property in Dubai and the Unite Arab Emirates (UAE), including a news feed, members club and reviews of the latest property developments from around the world.
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