Milestone visit begins today
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will today leave for Germany at the start of a two-day visit.
Sheikh Mohammed, accompanied by a high-level delegation, will be the official guest of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany’s ambassador to the UAE yesterday hailed his country’s relations with the UAE and said the trip would be a milestone.
Klaus-Peter Brandes said Sheikh Mohammed, making his first journey to Germany since becoming Vice-President, would meet Merkel and other leaders including Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“The visit will be a very significant and important milestone in our bilateral relations,” he told Emirates Buisness. “It will give further momentum to the strengthening of our bilateral relations and will be a major contribution to their further consolidation.
“Relations between the UAE and Germany are excellent. The countries signed a strategic partnership in April 2004 and since then we have witnessed ever increasing cooperation in all areas.”
Brandes said the planned GCC-EU free trade agreement would further enhance co-operation between the two sides and between the UAE and Germany.
“Once the agreement is signed member states of both organisations will move closer together, thus creating an even better environment for the further enhancement of the existing well-established economic relations.
“The UAE, for example, has for some years been Germany’s most important trading partner in the whole Arab world.”
The UAE delegation visiting Berlin includes Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Department and President of Emirates airline; Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy; Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation; Lieutenant General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of Dubai Ruler; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of Dubai’s protocol and guests department and other senior UAE officials.
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