Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has recently attended the 8th meeting of Yemen Friends Group, with participation of 39 states and international organisations.

Co-chaired by Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Yemen Friends Group discussed the report of steering committee on the achievements of the group since 2012. The group assessed the achievements of political process, economic and security challenges in Yemen. The participants resolved to support Yemen to overcome current challenges, and complement the transitional political process through implementation of the resolutions of the comprehensive national dialogue.

Dr. Gargash also continued holding meetings at the sidelines of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he met the Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani. They discussed the latest security, political and economic developments in Afghanistan. He was briefed by Osmani on the efforts and programmes exerted by the government in the areas of reformation of the security and political institutions, as well as services and challenges in this respect.

He congratulated the Afghan official on the success of the presidential elections, expressing hope a new government would be formed as soon as possible. The two sides also discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them, especially in the area of the U.A.E. investments in Afghanistan. Dr. Gargash and Osmani discussed issues of mutual interest, notably, the international counter-terrorism efforts in the region.

He stressed the importance of boosting the course of balanced Islam away from all forms violence and extremism.

Dr. Gargash met Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA). They reviewed ways to strengthen cooperation between the U.A.E. and humanitarian assistance programmes of the United Nations. Dr. Gargash and Amos also exchanged views about the latest political and humanitarian developments experienced by some countries in the region, especially the Palestinian territories, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Amos stressed the need for establishment of shelters for the homeless in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, noting that the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution No. 2165 has contributed to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the affected people through the creation of four crossing points on the border.

She commended the valuable contributions provided by the International City for Humanitarian Services in Dubai, stressing that that “this city is indispensable for its efforts in the areas of procurement and supply of humanitarian items to the region.” Amos praised the important role played by the U.A.E. to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, especially refugees in the neighboring countries, among others, Jordan.

She referred to the challenges facing the UN to provide relief aid to the needy, and the humanitarian repercussions of the Syrian crisis on the development and stability of peoples in the region.

Dr. Gargash yesterday also met at the headquarters of the United Nations, Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. The two sides discussed the latest developments in the region, especially the growing instability witnessed by the Palestinian territories in general and the Gaza Strip in particular, as well as steps taken to address the situation.

Serry briefed Dr. Gargash during the meeting about his assessment of the situation on the ground, including the horrific human tragedy taking place in the Gaza Strip, following the recent Israeli aggression. The discussion also covered ongoing efforts in the framework of the Palestinian reconciliation and challenges facing the government of national of unity at the administrative and financial levels, including the issues of the budget deficit and reconstruction sector, and administrative link of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the current legitimacy.

They also addressed gaps that caused the tumble of last round of Palestinian- Israeli negotiations, among others, the issue of Israeli settlements.

Dr. Gargash reiterated the U.A.E.’s commitment to continue its support to the Palestinian people in various humanitarian and development areas, adding that the U.A.E. also backs the efforts made by the Palestinian Authority to find just, comprehensive and lasting political solution to the Palestinian cause in the context of peace negotiations through the “two-state solution”, ensure ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as a capital, and at the same time contribute to putting an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the region.

In another meeting with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer, Dr. Gargash discussed ways to develop mutual cooperation between the U.A.E. and the Committee, particularly in the field of coordination of international humanitarian aid.

They reviewed the efforts made by the Committee on the humanitarian level to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people affected by the conflicts in the region.

Dr. Gargash briefed Maurer about the increasing role played by the United Arab Emirates in providing various types of humanitarian assistance to refugees and communities affected by the ongoing conflicts in the region.