President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said that 6th May, 1976, is an important milestone in the UAE's journey, and a qualitative leap that embodies the deep strategic vision of the country's founding fathers, which enabled them to realise the importance of a unified national army in building and consolidating the state.
''A unified and highly-qualified army is a source of reassurance, and a fundamental component in building the state and deepening the values of belonging to the homeland and loyalty to the leadership,'' said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
Speaking to the military journal, 'Nation Shield', on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stated that the UAE Armed Forces have demonstrated a great ability to absorb new technologies and systems, enabling them to achieve a high level of efficiency, readiness and preparedness.
Sheikh Khalifa highlighted the importance of the development of the country's armed forces to be well organised, highly trained and receiving comprehensive care and attention from the country's leadership, adding that this is a constant commitment that represents the national priority.
The full text of the President's statement follows:
"Peace, mercy and blessings be upon you,
My sons, commanders, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of our valiant armed forces.
As our country celebrates the 42nd anniversary of the Unification of the UAE Armed Forces, we salute and express our great and sincere pride and appreciation for the efforts and the sacrifices you have made, including in elevating the capabilities of our armed forces, defending the homeland and safeguarding the achievements of its people, which, as a result, has become an oasis of security and stability, a model of development and prosperity.
May 6th, 1976, is an important milestone in our journey, and a qualitative leap that embodies the deep strategic vision of our fathers, and was when they realised the importance of a unified national army in building and consolidating the state as a single and highly-qualified army. A unified army is a source of reassurance and a fundamental component in building the state and deepening the values of belonging to the homeland and loyalty to the leadership.
Following the footsteps of our founding fathers, we continue to support the development of our armed forces, through ensuring its well organised, supplying modern armament, and providing high training and comprehensive care, which is a constant commitment that represents one of our top national priorities. Our armed forces have demonstrated a great ability to absorb new technologies and systems, enabling them to achieve a high level of efficiency, readiness and preparedness.
My sons and daughters,
We are proud of you, you have contributed strongly to the preservation of peace, security and stability of the homeland, and you have sacrificed your lives for the sake of the truth; in support of legitimacy, in combating terrorism, in preserving regional and international peace, and you contributed effectively in joint military exercises with a number of sisterly and friendly countries.
On this anniversary, which coincides with our country's celebration of the 'Year of Zayed', we pray to Allah Almighty to have mercy on the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and on his brothers, the co-founders of the Union, who laid the solid foundations of this strong national army. We also pray to Almighty Allah to have mercy on the martyrs' souls and to grant them eternal peace in heaven, and to bless their families with comfort and solace.
May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be with you."