Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has praised the positive stands shown by Russia and China in relation to the current situation in Syria.
Speaking at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Abu Dhabi today, Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of supporting the peace plan of Koffi Annan, the UN-Arab league Special envoy to Syria, by all parties.
"We do not have much time left. Any delay in implementing the plan will make it more difficult to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis. It is important that we see progress made shortly," he added.
Sheikh Abdullah said Arab countries enjoy strong relations with Russia and China. He also expressed UAE and Arab League's appreciation to the German role in Annan's plan.
"It is appalling to see scores of Syrian citizens, specially women and children, suffer in their own country or abroad." Sheikh Abdullah commended the strong and progressive UAE=German relations, saying the two-way trade between the two countries saw tremendous rise to reach US$ 8 billion in 2011.
Earlier, Sheikh Abdullah addressed a forum held at Etihad Towers to mark 40 years of diplomatic ties between UAE and Germany.
"Relations between UAE and Germany are strategic and could provide a perfect example of how relations between different countries should be. Our relations are based on solid foundations." He revealed that last year, 144,000 Emiratis visited Germany, while around 11,000 German citizens reside in the UAE. He added that the number of German tourists visiting UAE in 2011 increased by 21 percent to reach 1.3 million.
"We look forward to an agreement, in coordination with the rest of Schengen countries, that exempts UAE citizens from visa requirement," he said.