His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chaired a video meeting with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and a number of UAE ambassadors to review the country’s diplomatic missions overseas amid the ongoing global efforts to combat the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the precautionary measures taken by the country’s embassies and consulates worldwide to ensure safety of citizens in host countries and facilitate communication channels to meet their needs during their stay out of the country.
He also followed up on the role of UAE’s diplomatic missions in providing the necessary support to global communities, reflecting the UAE’s humanitarian approach of aiding people across the world irrespective of race, colour, religion or political stance.
He praised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s operational efforts that supervised and ensured communication with citizens overseas and coordinated their safe return back to the UAE.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "We appreciate the efforts of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and our diplomats overseas. Our message to the world, through our ambassadors, is that we support any common global efforts to alleviate the pandemic’s health and economic impact on humanity."
He added, "Our message to the international community: we are stronger when we are united. After this pandemic, the world will need a different kind of advanced and quick international cooperation systems."
Praising the efforts of UAE envoys, he said, "We are proud of our diplomats who showed exceptional efficiency, and we urge them to take care of themselves, their families and work teams across the world."
He added, "The proactive and quick measures taken by Sheikh Abdullah and our ambassadors demonstrated our readiness for any circumstances," noting that, "The UAE works as one team locally and abroad, and our citizens remain our top priority wherever they are. The crisis showed the competence and potential of our citizens."
He reaffirmed that "A majority of our students and citizens have returned to the UAE with ease and efficiency. Those who remained abroad for exceptional reasons are receiving the necessary support."
The meeting was attended by Yousef Mana'a Saeed Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States of America; Abdullah Saif Ali Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to South Korea; Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China; Abdullah Ali Al-Sabousi, UAE Ambassador to Australia; Hafsa Abdullah AlUlama, UAE Ambassador to Germany, Berlin Embassy; Mansoor Abdullah Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Omar Obaid Alhosan Alshamsi, UAE Ambassador to Italy; Majid Hasan Alsuwaidi, UAE Ambassador to Spain; and Shaima Gargash, Deputy Chief of Mission at the UAE Embassy in Washington.
At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed stressed on the importance of providing a healthy work environment by adopting the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of teams and their families in embassies and consulates.
He urged ambassadors to continue providing the necessary logistical and moral support to UAE citizens and residents who could not return to the UAE after flight suspensions. He stressed on the importance of following the rules issued in every host country and guiding citizens to join local and volunteering efforts to combat the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of host communities overseas.
Sheikh Abdullah reaffirmed that UAE leaders, under the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, are keen to consolidate the country’s diplomatic approach by strengthening international cooperation and supporting global communities against the ongoing pandemic.
He commended Sheikh Mohammed’s efficient management of every aspect of governmental and institutional efforts through his direct supervision on ministerial, administrative and executive teams. He also praised the leader’s continuous guidance and support to ensure progress and smooth continuation of effective remote education and work as the country combats the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s operations centre has played a vital role in reducing the pandemic’s impact by providing logistical support to evacuate citizens overseas and ensure their safe return to the UAE.
Besides overseeing and planning evacuations, the operations centre coordinates with embassies to evacuate their citizens from the UAE back to their countries at their request.
From the start of the outbreak to the end of March, 1,743 citizens have been returned to the UAE through 39 evacuation plans.
The Ministry’s operations centre is run by 12-15 people around the clock to primarily support citizens abroad in any crisis or emergency.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the UAE has been keen to adopt necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety of diplomats, representatives and ambassadors overseas.
The government has issued work from home policies across embassies and consulates, providing social and logistical support to employees. It also facilitated communication with citizens overseas to provide support, ensured complete abidance by the rules of host countries and coordinated their safe return to the UAE.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation had launched its ‘Tawajudi’ service to support citizens and residents with valid residency visas, protect them in any crisis or emergency and arrange their return to the UAE.
Reflecting the UAE’s support to neighbouring countries, the Emirates Humanitarian City hosted 215 foreign nationals who were flown from Hubei province in China to Abu Dhabi in a humanitarian operation conducted in cooperation with the Chinese government at the request of their country’s respective governments. The operation was carried out in a plane equipped with medical facilities to accommodate the students coming from 11 nations and ensure their access to round-the-clock medical services during their quarantine.
The UAE leadership also renewed communication and reaffirmed support to leaders of different countries against the ongoing pandemic outbreak, uniting its efforts with the international community to help combat the spread.