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UK government happy with security of its citizens in UAE

Lily B. Libo-on / 19 September 2012

The British government is happy with the security provided by the UAE government to over 100,000 UK expatriates in the UAE, said Alistair Burt, UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister for Middle East on Tuesday.

The UK government has forged cooperation with the UAE in intelligence and security, and discussed a wide range of issues ranging from uncertainty in the region to organised crimes at the eighth UAE-UK Task Force meeting on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

Burt said that he did not discuss security of the British expats in the UAE with Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs, as his government is happy with the security provided by the UAE government.

In a Press briefing on Tuesday, Burt said that the discussions at the task force meet could help resolve the present crisis in Syria.

He said that security of the UK consulates and diplomatic posts around the world is in constant review and security issues are taken seriously. “We look at these issues to make sure their safety in all circumstances. We adjust accordingly.”

He also said that the UK withdrew its staff in Syria and Tehran because it was clear that Tehran could not guarantee safety. “But, UK recognises the sovereignty of governments to protect our diplomats.  In Libya, we recognise the challenges the new Libyan government faces with militia and armed groups. We work to increase security in the Gulf region. Our team in Tripoli is appropriate to ensure security of our staff.”

Both countries, however, had condemned the attack on the embassies and the provocative and insulting film.  He said that the incident in Libya requires an extensive review of the security there because Benghazi is being used as diplomatic posts of the UK, the US and most countries.

“We cannot use freedom to ignite violence and violate other’s freedom. This is a big issue that cannot be easily answered,” Burt said. He said that the UAE-UK Task Force unequivocally condemned the slaughtering of Syrian people. “The Middle East Peace process is stalled but we have not forgotten about the security and justice to both Isarelis and Palestinians. We will resume it after the November 6 election in the US.” — lily@khaleejtimes.com

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