L-R: Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Credit: MAEE

Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Monday to Wednesday this week to participate in the Forum of UAE Ambassadors and to speak at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA).

On Tuesday 4 February 2020, Jean Asselborn delivered a speech in front of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as guest of honour at the 14th edition of the Forum of UAE Ambassadors, the annual diplomatic conference that brings together all UAE ambassadors.

In his speech, Minister Asselborn reviewed current international issues and shared his views on the Iranian nuclear issue, the crises in Libya, Syria and Yemen, regional security issues and the peace process in Middle East. He particularly stressed that multilateralism is essential to guarantee peace and security in the world.

On the sidelines of the Forum of UAE Ambassadors, Jean Asselborn met with Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, for a bilateral interview. Jean Asselborn also took the opportunity of his visit to Abu Dhabi to participate in a dinner hosted by his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. These meetings confirmed the quality of the bilateral relations between Luxembourg and the UAE, which are developing dynamically in the political, cultural, economic and commercial fields. In this regard, the year 2020 will be marked by the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, as well as the Expo 2020 Dubai universal exhibition in which Luxembourg is participating. These exchanges also served to review regional and international political news, focusing on the latest developments in the Middle East.

On Wednesday 5 February 2020, Minister Asselborn visited the Hedayah International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. The centre was established in Abu Dhabi as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and works on preventing and combating violent extremism, with the support in particular of the European Union. It is an independent multilateral centre dedicated to dialogue and communications, capacity building programmes, research and analysis to counter violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.

Finally, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister spoke to budding diplomats from the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. During an interactive discussion, he shared with the students his experience as head of Luxembourg's diplomacy. On the sidelines of this event, he met with the director general of the EDA, Bernardino León. The encounter resulted in the agreement that a group of EDA students would undertake a study visit to Luxembourg in March 2020.