The United Arab Emirates’ foreign ministry has called for an “immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities” in Ukraine, according to a statement on Saturday.
It is the first official statement by the Gulf state and close US ally, and comes hours after the UAE, along with China and India, abstained on the draft Council resolution. The United Nations Security Council condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement released by the UAE’s Permanent Mission to the UN and titled “UAE’s Interpretation of the UN Security Council vote,” the Emir’s permanent representative, Amb. Ms. Lana Nusseibeh said that the UAE supports de-escalation of violence, resumption of dialogue and sending humanitarian aid.
The State Department did not mention Russia in the statement, instead calling on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, and focused on stressing the need to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance.
“Coming from the Middle East, we are acutely aware of the importance of a stable regional security environment, de-escalation, diplomacy and dialogue. Likewise, we understand from experience the need for inclusive and consultative processes,” Nusseibeh told the Security Council on Friday, according to the State Department statement.
According to a tweet by the Russian MFA, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Monday.
The UAE’s top diplomat also received a call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ahead of the Security Council vote, where Blinken spoke of “the importance of building a strong international response in favor of the United Arab Emirates.” sovereignty of Ukraine through the United Nations Security Council”. The Emirati appeal readout came after the vote and did not include Blinken’s statement.