The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced they would welcome United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) representatives His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, in Ottawa on September 27 and 28, 2016.
On September 27, ministers Dion, Bibeau and McCallum will have individual meetings with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah. First, Minister Bibeau will discuss cooperation on shared priorities, including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the empowerment of women and girls. The growing popularity of Canada as a destination for U.A.E. students, business travellers and visitors will be the main focus of Minister McCallum’s meeting, along with the United Arab Emirates’ recent commitment to take in Syrian refugees. Minister Dion will then highlight the importance of bilateral security cooperation, including participation in the Global Coalition against Daesh. Increased consular collaboration will also be on the agenda, given the approximately 40,000 Canadians living and working in the United Arab Emirates.
On September 28, Minister Freeland and His Excellency Sultan Al Mansouri will hold the inaugural meeting of the Canada-United Arab Emirates Joint Economic Committee in Ottawa to strengthen bilateral ties and promote economic relations between the two countries with an emphasis on small and medium-sized businesses.
These meetings will help reaffirm the strong relationship between Canada and the United Arab Emirates, setting ambitious targets for the two countries to partner on and work toward, such as in the areas of trade and investment, development and regional security.
- The United Arab Emirates is an important partner in the fight against violent extremism and is among the most active of Arab states in promoting the moderate and peaceful nature of Islam as opposed to a violent and extremist ideology espoused by groups like Daesh.
- The United Arab Emirates is recognized as a regional leader in efforts to combat climate change, as exemplified by the country’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and hosting of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
- The United Arab Emirates is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with which Canada maintains a strategic dialogue.
- About 40,000 Canadians live in the United Arab Emirates, and 150 Canadian companies have an operational presence there, because it serves as a gateway to the GCC and beyond.
- The United Arab Emirates has been a leading contributor of development assistance and has ranked first, globally, in official development assistance disbursements as a percentage of gross national income for the past two years.