Politics 16:38 28/06/2019 Armenia

UAE ambassador hails Armenia as ‘safe and peaceful’ country

Armenia is a safe and peaceful country with hospitable and friendly people, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Armenia Mohammed Issa Al Qattam Al Zaabi said in an exclusive interview to Panorama.am.

“Armenia is a country with rich culture, history and inherited civilization. I am happy to work here. Armenians are kind people, who show respect and appreciation for foreigners and tourists. They often view a foreigner as an Armenian, which is very good,” the ambassador said.

Asked to comment on Armenia-UAE relations, Al Zaabi described them as ‘unique’, adding they have been developing in all sectors in recent years.

“Armenian President Armen Sarkissian’s visit to the United Arab Emirates and his participation in the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January this year was a successful visit, which gave a new impetus to the strengthening of relations in different spheres,” the senior official said, also highlighting the recent visit of the Armenian defense minister to the UAE to attend Idex 2019 international defense exhibition.

“We have a commotion vision for development of our relations to open up new prospects for cooperation,” the envoy said.

Al Zaabi stressed the opening of the UAE Embassy in Armenia has significantly boosted the trade turnover between the two countries. “The trade turnover between the two countries totaled to only $80 million before the opening of the embassy in 2014, whereas it rose to $250 million in 2017 and around $180 million in 2018. The opening of the embassy in 2015 also aimed at boosting economic relations between the two countries,” he stressed.

Also, he presented the official figures on tourism arrivals, according to which a total of 11,500 tourists visited Armenia from the United Arab Emirates in 2018, stressing the UAE citizens feel safe in Yerevan. The ambassador also named Armenian people’s hospitability and Armenia’s great culture, civilization and history as other key factors attracting the UAE nationals.

Asked to speak about the installment of the unique Ministry of Happiness in the country and its functions, Mohammed Al Zaabi said happiness is important but is not dependent on material possessions.

“Happiness begins with a child's upbringing, education and health, the country's history, culture, and agriculture, the water that we drink. These are the components of happiness, not money and wealth,” the ambassador stressed.

Mohammed Al Zaabi, who has been in office for only four months, named Lake Sevan as his favorite place in Armenia. The ambassador also loves the Armenian capital. “Yerevan is an old city. I love old cities since they reflect the civilization, culture and values of the country…The most important thing for me is that I feel safe and secure here,” Al Zaabi said. 



Source Panorama.am
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