UAE - Commemorating the 47th Armed Forces Unification Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called the military force as “the strong shield for our country and our people”.

In his speech to “Nation Shield”, the UAE's military journal, Sheikh Mohammed said the decision to unify the Armed Forces fostered and enhanced the Union's pillars, highlighting that “the Union would not have advanced, developed and maintained its sovereignty without defending the country’s borders.”

He noted: “The decision on 6th May 1976 will remain a remarkable occasion in our history when we affirmed the realisation of the Union and set up a home for the Emirati identity and a strong shield for our country and our people.”

Acknowledging the crucial role and dedication of the officers and soldiers, Sheikh Mohammed added the Emirati people would not have enjoyed security and stability without the outstanding efforts of the UAE Armed Forces.

“Throughout its triumphant journey, our Armed Forces have strengthened the foundation of our Emirati model, proving that development and progress are two sides of the same coin,” said Sheikh Mohammed, adding: “Since its inception, the UAE Armed Forces have set an ambitious goal of Emiratising all its ranks within a specific time frame. They have excelled in achieving this goal, creating a model to be followed for training and qualifying national cadres scientifically, cognitively and practically through the National Service programme.”

He continued: “Our country’s defensive capacity is the outcome of our approach and commitment to providing the necessary factors and guarantees to ensure the highest levels of protection, security and safety for our homeland, people and achievements.”

Addressing the officers and soldiers, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Your loyalty, courage, dedication and commitment to your military oath have elevated our Armed Forces to the highest levels of efficiency, readiness and effectiveness, and you have earned respect from everyone everywhere.”

Sheikh Mohammed concluded: “On this special occasion, I salute and congratulate my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, may Allah Almighty protect him and appreciate his pioneering role in leading the advancement of our Armed Forces and defence industries. I also congratulate my brothers, Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and all my sons and daughters, our dear people."

Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, said: The UAE Armed Forces have become one of the strongest in the region and the world. They make a valuable contribution to international alliances with their skilled and trained personnel and logistical capabilities. They play a significant role in providing humanitarian aid and assistance to friendly nations, thereby promoting stability throughout the region. The Armed Forces symbolise commitment, sacrifice, redemption and a prestigious school of patriotism and loyalty.

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, said: “Today, after 47 years since the formation of our courageous Armed Forces, our country stands firm in principles of justice, equality, and peace and has earned global recognition as a secure and stable nation. The credit goes to our wise leaders, our military might and the courage of our men. The army has demonstrated its competence in fulfilling its obligations and safeguarding our nation by sacrificing valuable resources, thereby transforming the UAE into a sanctuary of security and safety.”

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, said: “The unification of the Armed Forces stems from the unity of purpose, destiny, vision and future that unites the UAE’s people and leadership. The country's Armed Forces today are considered one of the best-equipped and most advanced armies in the world, thanks to the support and follow-up of the country’s wise leadership. The valiant armed forces always seek to maintain the security, stability and peace of the homeland and the region, and extend a helping hand and assistance in championing Arab causes and preserving national, Gulf and Arab security.”

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said: "Today, the UAE's Armed Forces serve as an impenetrable fortress, defending the Union's achievements and gains and preserving the homeland's security and stability. Over the past 47 years, they have accomplished numerous successes and demonstrated their efficiency and defensive readiness in facing security and military challenges.

“The Armed Forces have also contributed to international efforts to maintain security and stability in various countries, reflecting their steadfast military doctrine to defend the truth and consolidate peace, stability and development."

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, said: "On this glorious day, we pray for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's Founder and the first Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and his successor, the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and for the soldiers, who sacrificed their lives while defending the country. These sacrifices will remain deeply ingrained in the nation's memory and immortalised in its citizens' hearts as a symbol of dignity and heroism and a source of pride and honour.”

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