The UAE does not deal with terrorism through a political agenda, but leads with solid institutional work during crises, said Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Interior.

Addressing the recent Houthi rebel attacks on the UAE, Al Nahyan said “terrorism does not target the UAE alone, but targets success and humanity.”

“To safeguard our societies, the international community must not deal with nations who deal with terrorism through a political agenda,” he said at the concluding session of the World Government Summit.

The minister revealed that the UAE has intercepted 94 per cent of the rockets launched by Houthi rebels, which is one of the highest by international standards.

He noted that the country is currently working to boost its internal security apparatus to safeguard the lives of citizens and residents.

“I personally thank our military and security institutions for their effective efforts and readiness to protect our homeland."

"And we also thank the difficult times for showing us friends from the foes.”

Al Nahyan paid condolences to the three victims who were killed in the Houthi attacks in Abu Dhabi.

“Inhumane and unethical terrorist attacks targeted civilian areas in the UAE using ballistic missiles and drones, taking three lives of our residents away,” said Sheikh Saif.

“These were the sons of the UAE,” he added.

However, he reassured audiences that the UAE will win against terrorism through exceptional leadership, positive approach, and integrated vision.

“Throughout history, terrorism never won.” Sheikh Saif added, “countries are measured by their relentless work, achievements, and success despite the adversaries. This is the UAE of possibilities.”

UAE’s achievements after attacks

During and after the Houthi attacks, the UAE stock market rose by 15 per cent, as the country ranked second worldwide for public trust in government and was named as the world's safest country to walk at night.

Sheikh Saif said a UAE cabinet meeting was taking place at the time of the attack. “However, not a single person left the room. The UAE depends on its solid institutional body in dealing with crises.”

Dealing with Covid-19

The UAE meets criticism with exceptional achievements. “When some countries criticised UAE’s records in human rights, the UAE won a seat on the UN Security Council. When some countries criticised the UAE for supporting terrorism, the UAE won the presidency of the Interpol,” said Sheikh Saif.

Similarly, the UAE was under criticism for its precautionary measures to curb Covid-19. However, the country dealt with the pandemic in a positive and firm approach.

“Nothing was clear about the pandemic at the beginning of the outbreak. People looked to their governments for guidance.”

While negative statements prevailed from some country’s leaders, Sheikh Saif said, the UAE leaders’ slogan “don’t worry” captured the country’s effective and positive management of the pandemic.

“The UAE fulfilled its promise that the crisis shall pass and that it will inspire the world with its management,” stated Sheikh Saif, citing that 80 per cent of the global humanitarian response came from the UAE.

The country facilitated 222 flights to deliver more than 2,250 tonnes of medical supplies to 136 countries. It also arranged to evacuate 5,000 citizens from foreign countries during lockdown and opened its humanitarian cities with eight field hospitals.

Sheikh Saif noted that while some countries focused on government spending, the UAE increased and governed budgets, placing emphasis on all the industries.

In 2020, the government increased housing budgets to Dh17.5 billion, marking a 28 per cent increase from the previous year. The collective spending on housing totalled Dh52 billion to empower families, placing the UAE among the top countries in housing spending in relation to the national GDP.

“Our leaders believe that the people of the UAE deserve the best. The country’s swift management of the pandemic empowered the people of the UAE and helped the international community defy humanity's toughest challenge.”

Sheikh Saif added, “Thanks to the efforts of the frontliners and condolences to those who lost their loved ones during the pandemic.”

“People of the UAE will never worry under such leadership and willpower.”

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