Unification of Armed Forces is a milestone: Khalifa

Sheikh Khalifa

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has stressed that the qualitative progress of UAE's Armed Forces remains a source of pride cherished by all UAE citizens.

In his speech to Dira' Al Watan (Nation Shield Magazine) on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Armed Forces unification, Sheikh Khalifa said that the unification of UAE's Armed Forces was a milestone in building the modern institutional state, empowering the federal experience, protecting its drive forward and instilling a deep sense of confidence in its citizens.

Full text of the President's speech:

"My dear Brothers and Sisters, Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Personnel of our Armed Forces, In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful; My Sons and Daughters the Commanders, Officers-in-charge, Non-Commissioned Officers and Personnel of the UAE Armed Forces: On this glorious day, as we celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the unification of the UAE Armed Forces, I want to salute you with a deep sense of honour and appreciation for your sincere patriotism and deep loyalty. We value your unrelenting efforts in the service of our nation, protection of the sovereignty of our beloved country, and preservation of its stability and security. This is an occasion to reassert that this treasured anniversary will remain a celebrated milestone in our blessed march and a qualitative shift in enhancing our federation, consolidating its strong tenets and developing its entities.

This significant anniversary is indeed a source of inspiration to the values of strong determination and unshakeable commitment that our founding fathers held in building the federal union, with their deep belief in Allah the Almighty, an unyielding commitment to the principles of unity and unlimited trust in the bright future of our nation.

The unification of our Armed forces was a milestone in building our modern institutional state, empowering our federal experience, protecting its drive forward and instilling a deep sense of confidence in its citizens. This great achievement exemplified and consolidated the insightful, gradual approach that has since characterised our wise policy and become a distinctive method in reaching our national objectives of a secured present and a very prosperous future.

Brothers and Sisters: The qualitative progress of our Armed Forces in terms of equipment and training remains a source of pride cherished by us all. We have continued our diligent efforts in field training, and the gaining of advanced knowledge through training institutes, in order to develop the capabilities and refine the skills of our military establishment. It is this integration of field skills with modern knowledge that has given us an advanced model of viable Armed Forces that excel in the performance of their duties.

We reaffirm the fact that the fundamental duty of our Armed Forces is to defend the homeland, thereby protecting its security and stability. We realise also that our national security is inseparable from regional and international security. This conviction entails certain responsibilities and obligations within the framework of our military doctrine, which is based on the solid defence of just causes, full respect of the valid laws and a firm commitment to principles.

It is on this basis and doctrine that our Armed Forces have been deployed to implement the duties assigned to the Jazeera Shield Forces that represent one of the mechanisms of military co-operation between the GCC states. We continue our contribution to international peacekeeping efforts, which is one of the tools to safeguarding international security and supporting peacekeeping operations.

We must commend the courageous role played by our Armed Forces at both the regional level and in the international arena. They have displayed exemplary high discipline, devotion to duty and valuable support to humanitarian missions and provision of critical medical assistance, thereby stressing the humanitarian attitude shown by our forces in carrying out their assigned duties and missions abroad.

As they continue to enhance their potential and upgrade their capabilities, our Armed Forces should hold to their belief that right is might and that commitment to the principles and the rule of law is their solid shield, for it goes without saying that right in the hands of the weak is a source of power, while false assertions in the hands of aggressors is a sign of weakness. It is on the basis of these values that we followed through with our unshakeable commitment to constructive dialogue, with our observance of international laws and principles as a guide to our respective decisions.

Brothers and Sisters: Our Armed Forces do not deliver in isolation from the strategies and programmes existing in their immediate setting. Thus, the continuous interaction and mutual exchange of experience with different civil institutions shall further enrich the efforts of the state in building a capable nation and a secured and stable country. The protection of the country is not only a duty for the military but it is also a collective responsibility shared by every citizen, each in his or her own sphere of specialisation, subsequently provided within the framework of overall integration and mutual support.

The protection of the important achievements made by the UAE requires a deep sense of vigilance and proper understanding of the surrounding threats and challenges. They entail a broad awareness in dealing with them, in order to protect our nation from their ensuing evils and threats.

Accordingly, we are quite confident that the people of the United Arab Emirates are the pillars and true treasure of our country, and as such they are capable of discharging that responsibility and trust with full determination and effectiveness.

Brothers and Sisters: As we commemorate this special anniversary, I want to express my sincere congratulations to my brothers their Highnesses the members of the Supreme Council of the UAE Federation, as well as to all the formal and civil institutions of our country.

Also, we congratulate you for your invaluable achievements and, in this regard, we pay special tribute to the pioneering veterans of our military personnel, who laid the solid foundation of our military establishment. Some of them continue to serve in the civil sphere, which is a symbol of integration and healthy interaction among various state institutions. The contribution of those veterans will continue to motivate successive generations of UAE citizens to maintain what has been achieved, build upon it and strengthen its foundations.

May Allah the Almighty bless your efforts with further success, and give you the determination to continue your valued service to your country and beloved nation".

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