- Britain's Queen Elizabeth stands next to Shaikh Khalifa during a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, southern England on April 30, 2013. The UAE President is paying a state visit to Britain from April 30 to May 1.
The Queen Hosted a State Lunch
A celebration of friendship between UK and UAE
1 May 2013
It is the first visit by a UAE president in 24 years and signals the two nations’ commitment to further develop relations in all fields, the President and hostess Queen Elizabeth declared during the visit.
It was meeting of close friends and that friendship was taken to a new level when the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was received with pomp and ceremony by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.
“Your visit this week is a chance to celebrate the depth of our partnership — a partnership that continues to grow and strengthen,’’ said the British monarch, who praised the UAE’s investments in the United Kingdom.
The Queen, who later hosted a state lunch for Shaikh Khalifa, said: “Our two countries have been close friends since before the foundation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, under the wise guidance and leadership of your late father, Shaikh Zayed.’’
Among the guests were Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“Our Treaty of Friendship signed in 1971 declared that the UAE and the UK would consult each other, promote educational, scientific and cultural cooperation and build close trade relations. This has never been truer than it is today and I am delighted with how our ties have developed, spearheaded by the UK-UAE Taskforce.”
The Queen said the UAE is one of Britain’s largest trading partners in the Gulf region. ‘‘We have welcomed Emirati investments in the United Kingdom in many areas from the construction of the largest port facilities in the UK to the Emirates Skyline, the spectacular cable-car crossing over the Thames and, of course, Manchester City.”
“I hope, Your Highness,” she told Shaikh Khalifa, “that as a result of this visit, our two nations will build on this historical and successful foundation and continue to work together to create a more productive and secure future.”
She proposed a toast “to His Highness the President and to the health and prosperity of the people of the United Arab Emirates”.
In response, Shaikh Khalifa expressed his “very great pleasure” at joining the Queen for the occasion, thanking her “for your kindness and your most courteous invitation.”
“As the long-standing and historical relationship between our two countries continues to develop positively in all fields, I would like to express my deep gratitude for your cordial visit to the United Arab Emirates in 2010, which left such a good impression on us.”
“We shall strive to develop further the long-established bilateral relations that exist between the United Arab Emirates in all fields, in order to achieve the interests of our two friendly countries,” Shaikh Khalifa said.
“Indeed, it is my hope that this current visit serves to reinforce our deep-rooted and steadfast friendship that has continued for many years.”
“Your Majesty,” he added, “please allow me to express once again my delight with this visit, as well as my confidence in the future prospects of the distinguished bilateral relations between our two friendly nations.”
Shaikh Khalifa then, with the guests, raised a toast to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and to the health and prosperity of the people of the United Kingdom.
Music during the banquet was provided by the band of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
Following the banquet and an exchange of gifts, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh accompanied the President to the Sovereign’s Entrance to Windsor Castle to bid him farewell.
A royal salute was sounded and the Windsor Castle Guard presented arms as the President passed. He later returned to his private residence in Richmond.
Earlier in the day the President was visited at his private residence at Richmond, just west of London, by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
The President was met at mid-day by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a specially-erected royal saluting platform on Datchet Road facing the imposing historic castle, which has been a royal residence for nearly 1,000 years.
Two royal gun salutes were then fired, one of 21 guns, by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, and the other, of 41 guns, by the Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army, at the historic Tower of London, in central London.
The President was then introduced by the Queen to a number of local civic officials, after which the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, gave a Royal Salute and the UAE national anthem was played.
The Queen and Shaikh Khalifa, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, were then escorted to an open horse-drawn carriage for a procession through the streets of Windsor, with the Sovereign’s Escort
Other members of the UAE delegation and senior British officials followed in carriages. As the procession commenced, the UAE and British national anthems were played.
Soldiers from the Grenadier Guards and the Scots Guards, two of the most famous regiments in the British Army lined the streets in the town, which were decorated with the UAE and British flags, while townspeople and tourists watched the procession, applauding.
The carriage procession then entered Windsor Castle, coming to a halt in the Quadrangle, where a Guard of Honour of the Welsh Guards was awaiting.
The national anthems of both countries were then played again, as the Queen, the President and the Duke of Edinburgh took their places on the royal dais.
Shaikh Khalifa, accompanied by the Duke, then inspected the Guard of Honour, following which there was a ride-past by the Mounted Band of the Lifeguards, the King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery and the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry.
Other members of the high-ranking delegation accompanying the President are Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the Emirates Group, Shaikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Staff Major General Eisa Saif Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, and Abdul Rahman Al Mutaiwee, the UAE Ambassador to the UK.
Focus on strategic partnership
Security and stability of the Gulf, trade and strategic investments figured prominently during talks between the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.
Cameron was all praise for the UAE’s role as a beacon of stability in the region and the leaders discussed ways to boost bilateral economic ties across sectors.
Trade and alternative energy, health, education and strategic partnerships were reviewed and the two leaders agreed that more could be done for the people of both countries.
The UAE is keen on enhancing strategic economic ties with the United Kingdom and joint projects would contribute to achieving higher growth rates, Shaikh Khalifa said.
They also exchanged views on the latest developments in the Middle East and the concerted efforts being exerted by all international parties to restore security and stability in the region.
The UAE President stressed the desire of the UAE to achieve comprehensive peace in the region. He added that the UAE is one of the countries in the region with a balanced and wise policy, based on strategic objectives, this being followed by others.
Shaikh Khalifa and Cameron also discussed bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, especially relating to the economy and investment, in the light of the expanding economic relations between the two countries, particularly in the sectors of industry, trade, renewable energy, healthcare, education, defence and other areas.
The President said that the UAE is looking forward to the development of the strategic economic relationship with Britain, through joint, sustainable investment projects, that could contribute to a raising of the rate of growth in bilateral trade and investment.
Government communication channels must be pro-active to boost private trade and investment, Cameron said during the meeting.
“This visit has made a deep impact on myself and will have significant results in the development of relations between our two countries and our two peoples,” Shaikh Khalif said and thanked the people of the United Kingdom for its hospitality during his two-day visit.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office after the meeting said that Cameron had described the State Visit as “a mark of the lasting and strategic importance to Britain of our relationship with the UAE”.
It added that “the two leaders agreed that the relationship had developed significantly in the last year, especially building a deeper and substantive defence partnership and significant new commercial links. They discussed the action that the international community should take on the most pressing issues in the Gulf and wider region, including to address the challenge of Iran’s nuclear programme, to end the appalling and dangerous conflict in Syria, and to bring new momentum to the peace process between Israel and Palestine. They agreed on the need for further support to stabilisation and development in Somalia at the London conference next week,” it said.
“The two leaders agreed to continue close engagement between the two Governments on important issues in the relationship,” it concluded.
Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister; Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Group; Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs; Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dominique Jeremy, ambassador to the United Kingdom and a number of senior British officials in the government attended the meeting.
Prince Charles welcomes Shaikh Khalifa and
his accompanying delegation
He also met Prince Charles at Clarence House in the evening. Prince Charles welcomed Shaikh Khalifa and his accompanying delegation, praising the deep and historic relations between the UAE and Britain. He said that these are supported by the leaderships of both countries.
He added that the President’s state visit represented an important stage in the history of the relationship.
During their cordial talks, the two exchanged views on the relationship and on how it could be strengthened.
Prince Charles then showed Shaikh Khalifa special displays of the work of the Prince’s School for Traditional Arts and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
Shaikh Khalifa told Prince Charles that the United Arab Emirates was desirous of ensuring that the people of the UAE were made aware of the tolerance and moderation to be found in the essential concepts of Islam, far removed from any extremism.
He noted that the message of Islam calls for love and peace and for the avoiding of hatred and enmity.
Shaikh Khalifa and Prince Charles then took tea in the Garden Room of Clarence House, together with the Prince’s wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the accompanying delegation.
Both Shaikh Khalifa and Prince Charles expressed the view that the President’s visit would have a positive impact of the developing relationship between the two countries and peoples.
Gargash stresses symbolic and political dimensions of
President’s visit to Britain
Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, today underlined the importance of the historic visit of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In a statement to WAM, he said: “ This state visit has a special dimension in the development of the UAE-British relations,” noting that, besides, the symbolism of the visit, it has taken on a political dimension, which was reflected in the discussions yesterday between Shaikh Khalifa and Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.
During their talks, the two sides discussed a number of regional and international issues.
Gargash said the official meeting between the UAE President and the British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street later today will discuss bilateral cooperation in the regional and international issues of mutual interest.
He added that H. H. Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, will hold talks with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague. The two sides will discuss the situation in Yemen.
They will pledge support to the efforts being exerted to restore the security and stability across Somalia, as well as boosting concerted international efforts to help the Horn of Africa nation, Somalia, address the humanitarian and development situations there, he said.
Gargash reiterated that the UAE President’s visit will have huge impact on the relations between the two friendly countries, especially in the areas of politics, defence, economy, education, health, culture and others.
Laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier
Shaikh Khalifa later visited Westminster Abbey where he laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.
The President, who was met on arrival at the Abbey by the Duke of York, was received at the Abbey door by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, who presented to him the Canons of Westminster, officials of the Abbey.
The Abbey, close to the Houses of Parliament, is the place of coronation and burial of British monarchs.
The President was then conducted to the Grave of the Unknown Warrior by the Dean, where he laid the wreath.
Shaikh Khalifa was accompanied by two members of the UAE Armed Forces, Second Lieutenant Moza Al Nueimi, the first female Emirati cadet to graduate from Britain’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and First Lieutenant Hamad Al Amiry, also a Sandhurst graduate and a veteran of the Emirati military mission in Afghanistan.
Following the saying of prayers by the Dean, the President was then escorted on a short tour of the Abbey.
Shaikh Khalifa then signed the Abbey’s Distinguished Visitors’ Book, saying: “We in the United Arab Emirates value the lives of those who have sacrificed themselves for their country. The love of country and to sacrifice for it is the aim of everyone who seeks to protect his country.”
Mansour bin Zayed visits British Archive
Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Centre for Documentation and Research, visited today the British National Archive in Kew, south-west of London.
The visit was part of activities associated with the state visit of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to the United Kingdom.
He was greeted at his arrival by Oliver Morley, Chief Executive Officer at the Archives, who escorted Shaikh Mansour and the delegation accompanying on a tour of the Archives, where Shaikh Mansour was briefed about the sections and divisions and the modern methods of archiving, preserving and making available documents for researchers as well as the status of the documents related to the UAE and the Arabian Gulf.
Shaikh Mansour and the delegation were also briefed on the oldest archived documents dealing with the UAE, as well as on seven sections dealing with local and international historical documents. The use by the Archives of the latest global standards in documentation, preservation and archiving, restoration were also explained as well as how the Archives makes material available to researchers and reviewers.
He also toured the old building of the Archive, where he was briefed on the reading rooms and archiving of documents.
Shaikh Mansour also visited the restricted room for digitised material in the new building and the centre of restoration of documents and manuscripts, where he was briefed on the latest digital technologies for restoring and preserving old documents.
Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed toured a special exhibition of rare documents and photographs related to the United Arab Emirates.
Shaikh Mansour was accompanied by Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, the UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr. Abdullah El-Reyes, Director General of the National Centre for Documentation and Research, Abdullah Al Maghrabi, Director of Studies and Research at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and Majid Al Muhairi, Executive Director at the centre.
The British National Archive is the official Archive of the British government and has collections that date back to a thousand years.
The annual number of visitors to the British Archive exceeds 150,000 and more than 22 million visits are made to the Archive site on the internet.
UAE, UK sign two memoranda of understanding
The Governments of the United Arab Emirates and of the United Kingdom today signed two memoranda of understanding on the creation of a Dialogue of Values and Qualification of Frameworks.
Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, signed on behalf of the UAE, while the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, signed on behalf of the United Kingdom.
The two memoranda were signed as part of the State Visit of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the United Kingdom.
The Dialogue of Values will be supervised by the UAE-UK Taskforce, jointly chaired by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Alistair Burt, British Parliamentary Under Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The first meeting will be held this month, with follow-up meetings at six-monthly intervals. The discussions will strengthen cultural and political understanding between the UAE and the UK, as well as exploring the developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Under the terms of the memorandum on qualifications, the two sides will prepare a list on the quality institutions in both countries to promote understanding and achieve partnership and ensure quality. They will also exchange information about the qualifications endorsed by the higher education institutions in both countries. The two sides will work to set content of the education programmes. They will inform each other about symposia, training sessions and mutual visits in both countries.
Shaikh Abdulla held talks with Hague in London this morning on ways to strengthen the relations between the two friendly countries, and cooperation ties in the best interest of both.
The meeting also stressed the importance of coordination and consultations to further consolidate relations. The two sides also discussed the political and security situations in the region and the Middle East in the light of political developments in the Arab world.
The UAE Foreign Minister said the UAE President's visit to the UK and the talks held yesterday between Shaikh Khalifa and Queen Elizabeth, as well as two memoranda of understanding, will contribute to the shared desire to strengthen relations.
He expressed his satisfaction at the cooperation and historic friendship between the two countries.
For his part, the British Foreign Secretary praised the relations between the UAE and the UK, citing their cooperation on a number of issues of common interest.
"The President's Historical Visit", Akhbar Al Sa'a Bulletin
The bulletin of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) has said that the official visit of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Britain represents a significant milestone in the partnership between the two countries and enhances opportunities for bilateral cooperation to serve their two peoples.
In an editorial titled "The President's Historical Visit", the ECSSR daily bulletin Akhbar Al Sa'a (News of the Hour) said that the UAE's leadership remained keen to build its political, diplomatic and humanitarian international relations in accordance with the principles of respect for the sovereignty of countries and non-interference in their internal affairs and contributes to facing global challenges, working to reduce their impact.
The bulletin highlighted the leadership's interest in achieving further improvement in its practices at the level of foreign policy, strengthening the position of the United Arab Emirates at the level of international relations, where it had managed to consolidate old friendships and develop them at a time when it did not hesitate to open its doors to everyone, welcoming opportunities for new partnerships.
Hence, the President's visit at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the United Kingdom was a confirmation of the strong relations between the two countries and their solid partnership established in all fields.
In conclusion, the bulletin stressed that the UAE's distinguished foreign policy, in particular with regard to the adoption of moderation and flexibility in overcoming difficult situations, had led to regional and international diplomatic relations as manifested in the UAE-British relations.
Turning point in historic ties, UAE Paper
The visit of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan marks not only a solid reaffirmation of the strong relationship of the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates but also a landmark in bilateral relations, said a UAE daily.
"The grand welcome given to Sheikh Khalifa, who is making the two-day state visit upon an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II, highlighted the importance the UK attaches to its relationship with the UAE. It was also an opportunity for the British monarchy to express its appreciation to the UAE for the great welcome that the country offered to the Queen during her visit here in 2010" siad "Gulf Today" in its editorial on Wednesday.
The UK and the UAE share a relationship that goes back to many years. Sheikh Khalifa was hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle. He will meet David Cameron on Wednesday. The UAE is Britain's largest export market in the Middle East. The two countries have a growing partnership in defence and security.
Sheikh Khalifa's visit follows one made by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to the UAE in 2010 and a visit here by Cameron last November. Sheikh Khalifa's visit to the UK is long due for the President after Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, paid a state visit to the United Kingdom in 1989.
"Sheikh Khalifa's visit underlines the growing bilateral defence and commercial relations, and is supposed to cement ties between two firm allies. Annual bilateral trade between the UK and the UAE now exceeds ?10bn. More than a million Britons visit the UAE each year", added the paper.
Economic co-operation with each other is vital for the common interests of the two countries and that is also expected to be given a big boost during Sheikh Khalifa's visit.
"There is every reason for citizens of the two countries to celeberate the President's visit to the UK and it is a foregone conclusion that it is yet another historic turning point in the bilateral relationship", concluded the paper.
- Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, greet the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (C), at Windsor Castle in southern England April 30, 2013. The President is paying a state visit to Britain from April 30 to May 1.