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February 22, 2018

MFA Press Statement: Working Visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to the United Arab Emirates, 21 February 2018

        Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday, 21 February 2018. Minister Balakrishnan addressed over 100 of the UAE’s senior diplomats in a closed-door session of the 12th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Heads of Missions Abroad on 21 February 2018. Minister Balakrishnan spoke about the common challenges facing small states and open economies like Singapore and the UAE, including major geopolitical shifts, increasing transboundary security challenges, and rapid and disruptive technological change, and how both countries could partner more closely to confront these challenges.

        Minister Balakrishnan was hosted to dinner by UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.  The two Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to elevate ties and discussed further areas of bilateral cooperation, including the sharing of best practices on a range of governance issues.  Minister Balakrishnan and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah also exchanged perspectives on regional developments.

        During his visit, Minister Balakrishnan also met Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak.  Minister Balakrishnan and His Excellency Al Mubarak had a fruitful discussion on developments in the Middle East and Asia.  Minister Balakrishnan also affirmed the strong economic cooperation between Singapore and Abu Dhabi, anchored by the Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum, the next iteration of which is scheduled to be held in Singapore later this year.

        Minister Balakrishnan will return to Singapore this morning.

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22 FEBRUARY 2018