Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s minister of international affairs, met with Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, in Abu Dhabi, signifying closer ties between the two nations.
The Emirates News Agency WAM stated on Thursday that the meeting was to examine the current strategic alliance and bilateral efforts to “enhance prospects for more collaboration across all fronts.”
“During the talks, the ministers will compare positions on key items on the global and Middle Eastern agendas, a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ministers “will focus on the need to settle the persisting conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa via an inclusive dialogue that takes into account the lawful interests of all involved parties. The developments in Yemen, Libya, Syria and the Arab-Israeli peace process will be discussed in this context,” it added.
Lavrov is visiting the country in the Gulf that produces oil for two days. The ambassador is scheduled to attend the Sir Bani Yas Forum on peace and security and visit the Russian School of Abu Dhabi, according to his agenda, which was provided by the Russian government.
The conference takes place in the midst of what Moscow claims is a “special military operation,” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This upcoming visit [to the UAE] will be a major component in the intensive political dialogue whereby the two countries maintain regular contacts at top and other levels,” said a Russian ministry statement.
“Sheikh Abdullah underscoring the importance of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries in all fields and the need to strengthen it,” WAM reported.
Following their meeting in St. Petersburg last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had their most recent diplomatic exchange.
“The presidential meeting reflected the rapid growth in cooperation between the two countries,” the UAE top diplomat was quoted as saying by WAM.
During the visit, President Putin conveyed Russia’s gratitude to the UAE for its efforts in supporting mediation efforts by playing a significant role in the prisoner swaps between Russia and Ukraine.
The Russian president was briefed on the Ukrainian side’s stance on a number of subjects by Sheikh Mohamed in the interim.
The president of the UAE also underscored the need of maintaining an open line of communication between Russia and Ukraine, while President Putin emphasized that Russia is eager to see the UAE’s attempts at mediation continue.
Sheikh Mohamed and Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke on the phone in October to discuss the most recent developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, and shortly after, the UAE leader ordered $100 million in humanitarian help for Ukraine.
Lavrov and his party were reportedly treated to a supper feast by Sheikh Abdullah.
Ahmed al-Sayegh, Minister of State, Dr. Sultan al-Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Dr. Mohamed al-Jaber, UAE Ambassador to Russia, all attended the meeting, according to WAM.
Russia and the UAE continue to have close strategic relations. With $5.36 billion in bilateral commerce in 2021, up 64.5 percent from 2020, the Gulf state became Russia’s biggest trading partner. Since the beginning of 2022, Russia’s ministry has estimated a $3 billion increase in trade at a similar pace.