The UAE Cabinet has endorsed a draft federal law on compulsory national and reserve service ahead of submitting it to the Federal National Council (FNC). The move follows the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The draft law was endorsed during the Cabinet session held on Sunday at the Presidential Palace and chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
It was attended by Lt General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed the directives of the UAE President on protection of the country, its independence and its sovereignty and participation in its comprehensive development being a sacred duty for all Emiratis to safeguard the gains made from the inception of the Union up until now.
"National service implants the values of allegiance, loyalty, discipline and sacrifice among youth to serve the country at best," he said, urging them "my sons, daughters, you have a huge responsibility to preserve these achievements. You are protectors of the present and future. We support you."
In accordance with the provisions of the draft law, compulsory national service will be for all males between the ages of 18 and 30.
The length of service is set to be two years for those who do not complete high school, and nine months for those who have graduated from high school. National service is optional for women.
Emiratis in the group aged 18- 30 working in local, or federal public institutions, and in the private sector, will join the service in accordance with the provisions of the draft national service law. Those recruited will have their service duration counted at their places of work for the purpose of end of service dues, pension and others.
The Cabinet also approved the restructure of Board of Directors of Zakat Fund under chairmanship of Dr. Hadef bin Joan Al Dhahiri. The board includes membership of seasoned group from all Emirates.
It endorsed the budget of the General Pensions and Social Security Authority for 2014. The Cabinet also endorsed the budget of Emirates General Transport and Services Corporation for 2014. It endorsed the final account submitted by Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology (ESMA) for 2012 in which it registered growth in revenues by 14 per cent.
The Cabinet also endorsed the final accounts of National Qualifications Authority, National Media Council and National Council for Tourism and Antiquities.
The Council of Ministers endorsed a number of agreements in the field of air transport with Moldova and Jamaica. It approved the agreements on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion on income with Libya and Brunei. The Cabinet endorsed the agreement on encouragement and protection of investors between the UAE and Benin.
It approved joining of the UAE to the World Petroleum Council, the world's premier oil and gas forum and helps to catalyse and facilitate dialogue in order to find sustainable solutions to key energy issues.
Mohammed receives Ethiopian Prime Minster
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, received on Sunday morning at the Presidential Palace the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
In presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed al Nahyan and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidency Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohammed discussed with Mr. Desalegn ways to enhance bilateral relation between the UAE and Ethiopia in addition to the current situation in the Horn of Africa.
The discussions focused on the possible cooperation between the two countries in the investments in the industrial, agricultural and tourism sectors.
Sheikh Mohammed asserted that the UAE is keen to expand cooperation with all friendly counties for the best interest of the nations.
From his side, Hailemariam Desalegn lauded the UAE’s cultural and economic development under its wise leadership. Mr. Desalegn expressed his country’s interest to attract UAE’s government and private investments. The Ethiopian Prime Minister indicated that several Emirati companies are investing successfully in various sectors in Ethiopia.
The meeting was attended by Minister of International Cooperation and Development Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gergash, Minister of Public Works Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State Reem Al Hashmi, Deputy Minister for Presidency Affairs Ahmad Juma Al Zaabi, Director General of Dubai Ruler's Office Lt. General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia Dr. Youssef Issa Hassan Al Sabri, Ambassador of Ethiopia to the UAE Abdul Qader Rasqwa and the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s accompanied delegation that includes ministers of irrigation, finance, economic development and state ministers.