Mohamed bin Zayed: UAE Armed Forces plays vital role in turbulent regional and international environment

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said that UAE Armed Forces have played a vital role in a turbulent and dangerous regional and international environment in which it was surrounded by threats.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added that the UAE's Armed Forces have earned respect and appreciation across the world because they represent the UAE policy that is not only based on the call for peace, coexistence and dialogue between states, but also on commitment to working for world peace and security and actively engage in every effort aimed at confronting sources of risk, tension and threat on the international scene.

Speaking to the military journal, 'Nation Shield', on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed said that the heroic role of the UAE's Armed Forces which they have and still are performing in the sisterly nation of Yemen, since the launch of operation to restore legitimacy there, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlights how values of heroism, dedication and sacrifice were deeply imbedded in them and the high-scale of progress, efficiency and professionalism they have reached. He added that this reflects the authentic values of the UAE and its loyal people in standing with just causes, defending security of the region and enhancing its pillars, as well as in supporting fellow Arab peoples facing crises.

The full text of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's statement is as follows:

"Brothers and sisters, officers, rankers and soldiers, members of our valiant Armed Forces:

It gives me great pleasure on this auspicious day to congratulate all of you on the 42nd Unification Day of the Armed Forces, which has repeatedly proved to be impregnable and a rock-solid foundation upon which our brothers and allies can depend in times of adversity.

On this dear national occasion, I would like to extend my congratulations to the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the Rulers of the emirates. My congratulations also go to the people of the UAE.

On this great occasion, I pray for the soul of our late father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, and the souls of his brothers, the founders of the United Arab Emirates. Together, these visionary leaders made history on May 6, 1976 when they made the decision to unify our Armed Forces under one banner. By doing so, they laid the foundations for a strong and unified nation and made it possible for the UAE to make the great strides that it has done over the past four decades.

Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters, Guardians of the Nation,

On this great national occasion, which fills us with pride in our Armed Forces and its patriotic achievements in bringing about peace, stability and hope at home and beyond, we remember our beloved martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of their nation. We remember those who made history with their own blood as they gave up their own precious lives in defence of their nation against aggression and the forces of darkness. Indeed, they made the ultimate sacrifice and thus, their names and memory will always be engraved in our hearts and minds.

Indeed, our martyrs serve as a role model for their fellow countrymen and for the rest of the world for they did not hesitate to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend their nation, support the right causes and confront aggression. In doing so, they embodied the values of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, which have been instilled in every one of us. These values are generosity, sacrifice, courage as well as an unwavering willingness to help those in need and make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the homeland.

We in the UAE do not forget the sacrifices made for the sake of our nation and we have honoured their memory: their names glitter like shining stars in the skies of our homeland. As the memory of our martyrs lives on in each of us, the citizens of the UAE will know, generation after generation, that the peace and security that they enjoy was not born out of nothing, but was the result of enormous sacrifices made by heroes who sprung forth from our blessed land and faced death with courage. It was for their courage and selflessness that they were rewarded eternal life.

Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Guardians of the Nation:

Regional and international developments over the past decades have shown us -- and continue to do so - that the wisdom and farsightedness of our founding fathers contributed to the decision to unify our armed forces and provide them all support. Our Armed Forces have always been the vigilant guard of our sovereignty, security and stability as well as our achievements.

The Armed Forces played this vital role in a turbulent and dangerous regional and international environment in which it was surrounded by threats. The UAE is an advocate of peace in the region and across the world, but it is also keen on having a modern and robust military. We will spare no effort to develop and support our Armed Forces by equipping its various divisions with the latest weapon systems and providing them high-quality education and training while we fully support our domestic defence industry.

Our Armed Forces have always been there to serve and maintain regional and global security and it has never been an aggressor, as the numerous foreign missions it has been part of can testify. These missions have earned our Armed Forces the respect and appreciation of the entire world. This was so because our Armed Forces reflected the values of the UAE, marked by its desire to ensure that every country is peaceful and stable.

Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Guardians of the Nation,

The heroic action of our Armed Forces in Yemen, as part of our operation under the leadership of Saudi Arabia to restore legitimacy in the country, leaves no room for doubt that our soldiers are willing to sacrifice and risk their lives in order to defend the legitimacy of this friendly nation. The operation showcased our military capabilities while reflecting our commitment to help our fellow Arab countries in times of need, support just causes and defend regional security.

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to extend a message of appreciation and homage to my sons, my brothers, the heroes of our Armed Forces who are serving in Yemen. I salute them as they play a role that will be remembered in the most glorified pages of history for they are living examples of heroism. I assure you that the Emirati people, in their entirety, are filled with pride because of your unparalleled courage in Yemen. It’s your courage that make us stand proudly among other nations.

Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Guardians of the Nation,

Since its unification on May 6, 1976, our Armed Forces have witnessed tremendous developments at all levels. These include improving the efficiency and preparedness of its members, supplying it with state-of-the-art weapon systems while also developing our domestic defence industry and building fruitful relationships with militaries of friendly nations to enhance the efficiency of our forces and expose them to the systems of other militaries.

Make no mistake, we are extremely keen on improving the capabilities of our Armed Forces to ensure their continuous readiness in the face of threats and to ensure that they are equipped with the best systems in order to protect our homeland, our people and our achievements.

We are acutely aware that rapid technological progress the world over is making weapon systems, training and simulation, command and control, among many other aspects of modern armed forces, more sophisticated than ever before.

Therefore, we in the UAE are very keep on being at the forefront of these developments and innovations to enable our Armed Forces to deal with current and future threats and situations.

Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Guardians of the Nation,

Our experience with the national service has been heartwarming. Since its very beginning, this experience showed that the UAE has an astute understanding of the nature of regional and global changes and reflected the importance of supplying our Armed Forces with new members who serve as an ever-ready reserve force.

Young Emiratis have, since the moment the national service was announced, exhibited an unflinching desire to serve their nation and offer the dearest of sacrifices for its sake.

Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, Guardians of the Nation:

Happy Unification Day, Gold bless the UAE, God bless the souls of our martyrs."

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