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Targeting the UAE: Smear Campaigns Will Not Hinder its Progress

Targeting the UAE: Smear Campaigns Will Not Hinder its Progress

Saturday, 24 April, 2021 - 11:15

Targeting the brotherly United Arab Emirates is nothing new. This the fate of the great, and it is something that Saudi Arabia has faced and still is facing. It is a tax on success paid by those who are engaged, exceptional and taking the initiative in the region.

With that, the enemies of success are many, and they are sick, spiteful people who find comfort in rumors, fabrications, undercutting achievements and falsifying facts. The scene brings us back to the world of Arabs, the issue of sides, parties and stereotypical images, and a story like this requires elaboration, which will be put forward in a future article.

What we have seen over the past few months is nothing but an organized political campaign aimed at smearing the UAE. Many around the world see the UAE as a country of peace and civilization, a model to be replicated and a player that cannot be ignored in the region, and so, they are asking themselves why it is constantly being attacked. This is not the first time that nefarious and dubious accusations are launched against the brotherly UAE. A similar campaign was launched after the peace agreement between it and Israel was signed. With that, the house of Zayed will continue to stand tall and play a pioneering role, with the country remaining one of sustainable development, opportunity, innovation, tolerance, coexistence and progress, as it has always been.

The UAE, as it looks forward to celebrating its Golden Jubilee of the Union and its five decades of development and pioneering achievements, is entitled to feel proud of its remarkable international presence, the name it has made for itself and what it has provided to its people, doing everything it can to ensure their comfort and prosperity.

Despite the determination to tarnish the UAE’s image and the incitement to boycott it, these attempts, as had been expected, failed miserably. The UAE is a welcoming country open to other cultures, which turned it into a hub for entrepreneurship, innovators and business people from over 200 countries.

I remember that during a session at the October 2018 Future Investment Initiative, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: "If we look at the Middle East, the countries that are working well depend on oil. But then, in the 1990s, came a man who presented a model that showed that we could do more: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid raised the bar." This is the testimony of the leader, Mohammed bin Salman, the godfather of Vision 2030, who instigated a cultural, social and economic revolution in his country. With the momentum of projects, transformations and the tremendous achievements that Saudi Arabia is witnessing today, you would hear them humbly saying: What you have seen so far is only the beginning.

These are statesmen and leaders taking their countries where they should go, and there is nothing strange about Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Dubai, Neom and AlUla capturing the world's attention. These cities are seen as inspirational and have headlines written about them in Western media.

The truth is that we do not need to say that the Saudi-Emirati ties are solid, deep-rooted, fraternal and extensive. History tells of an exceptional and distinctive relationship between the two countries' leaders and peoples, rooted in the bonds of blood, love, heritage, a common destiny and mutual understanding. Its foundations were laid by the late King Faisal and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and it continues to develop steadily to this day, during the reigns of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan. Thus, the Saudi-Emirati alliance has become a central pillar of Gulf and Arab action and a lever that seeks to protect Arab interests and national security.

The question that comes to mind: What is the purpose behind this incitement, and what is the reason for this aggression? Simply, it is propaganda that aims to apply pressure and coincides with an intersection of interests between factions, groups and states in the region that has compelled them to aggress and focus on the UAE because they disagree with its policies, as shown by their persistence in smearing every Emirati achievement. Successive cheap and transparent campaigns that traditional and digital media that are funded by known factions and sides have contributed to them. Whether it is states or movements of political Islam, aiming to tarnish the status quo or make up stories, all of them are means and tools for incitement, spreading tension and fueling animosity to serve their agenda, in addition to misleading global opinion about the positive transformations that are actually happening in the UAE.

These misinformation campaigns are politicized, and they are undoubtedly destined for failure; for selling sovereign political positions and exploiting them reflects a state of political bankruptcy. No matter how ferocious the attacks and campaigns against the UAE become, aimed at preoccupying it domestically and weakening the central external role it plays, it will not acquiesce and will not go back its plans, positions, programs and legacy. Nor will it compromise its dignity and history, nor would it consider allowing everyone who makes a fuss to undermine its sovereignty.

For decades, the Gulf states have been subjected to a flurry of insults, accusations of treachery, burning pictures and hurtful attacks launched by particular segments known for the stances they have taken despite the unlimited support that these states have provided on all levels. The Muslim Brotherhood's conspiring against the Gulf states is well established and documented. They do not recognize nation-states and view peoples as subjects of the caliphate, but the UAE managed to foil their plot, arrest the masterminds and expose their plans.

After many years of Gulf silence, enduring insults and incitement, and making excuses for all the violations for the sake of the Palestinian cause, the Gulf states did everything they could, exerting every effort, from providing money to forging ties and arrangements. This does not imply an abandonment of the cause of the Palestinian people, who deserve a national leadership that is not partisan or ideological. The novel Gulf position in Abu Dhabi and Manama regarding peace with Israel was not taken rashly. It is a sovereign position first and a carefully studied one second, and it speaks for itself par excellence. The sacrifices of the Gulf states and their longstanding afflictions were not met with anything but a stab in the back.

In any case, changing a country's position on a particular issue is not considered a mistake or an infringement. Indeed, it is one of states' legitimate sovereign rights, and it clearly reflects a capacity for dealing with politics. Today, you cannot find countries that permanently remain committed to their position on an issue because circumstances, givens and the entire international system are changing. Changing political attitudes is predictable and acceptable in politics; rather, it is one of its consequences. Changing opinions in the world of politics is natural and is among the primary tools for engaging in politics. They are not sacred texts but rather have the capacity to change and shift. The aim is to realize interests, which is the criterion in the final instance.

Fifty years have gone by since the success of the Emirates' unity, the foundations of which had been laid by the late great Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. Through serious efforts and dedication, a series of landmark successes, unique achievements and developmental goals would ensue. This has compelled the world's admiration, and the UAE’s journey continues steadily, with optimism about and ambitions for the future.

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