TEN PACIFIC NATIONS MEET WITH ARAB AMBASSADOR

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New York gathering follows Sheikh’s Pacific tour

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, April 10, 2010) – Samoa was among ten Pacific countries which gathered in New York recently for a high-level meeting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The meeting was called by UAE’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman.

The discussion was to follow up on progress of an official visit made that country’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Pacific in February.

The Foreign Minister visited Samoa and met with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at Aggie Grey’s Resort and Spa.

The meeting in New York took place at the UAE Mission. It was attended by representatives from Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Nauru, Vanuatu, Tonga, Tuvalu, Fiji, Micronesia, and Marshall Islands.

Al Jarman briefed the attendees about the strategy of the Pacific Islands Partnership Programme launched by the UAE to build and strengthen its relations with the Pacific.

Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya

Launched during the first visit of Sheikh Abdullah, the Partnership programme has been designed to facilitate meaningful cooperation between UAE and the Pacific.

To that end the UAE has created a new starting program of US$50 million to be awarded to specific projects in critical developmental areas such as education, social and healthcare services and infrastructure.

The UAE Permanent Representative said the four key elements of the "Partnership in the Pacific Program" include: Financial Assistance, Facilitating Dialogue, Developing Research/Academic Partnerships and Developing Tools in Partnership with the Region and Capacity Building Programs.

The delegates of the Pacific islands expressed gratitude of their countries to the Government of the UAE for its initiative which they praised the first of its kind at the international level.

They affirmed the partnership provides a firm, clear and practical proof of the UAE’s commitment to assist developing countries to build national capacities to address escalating economic, humanitarian and climatic challenges.

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