Minister of Defence Luik met yesterday with Mohammed Bin Ahmed Al Bawardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, in order to discuss security questions in the Middle East and the situation on the Strait of Hormuz. Luik also met with defence industry undertakings and held the keynote speech at the Digital Next Summit, in Abu Dhabi, where he introduced Estonia’s e-governance and work on cyber defence.
‘The United Arab Emirates is a reliable and important cooperation partner for Estonia. For example, the defence industry fair IDEX is an attractive opportunity for Estonian undertakings to enter into business relationships in the Middle East as well as globally. High-level visits held over the past few years have helped lead to an enhancement in cooperation', said Minister of Defence Luik.
Within the framework of his visit Luik gave a lecture at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, during which he focused on the role of NATO in resolving conflicts.
Representing Estonia together in Abu Dhabi with the minister were Taavi Veskimägi, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Defence Industry Association, and a business delegation from BHC Laboratory and Threod Systems.
‘For Estonia, excellent prospects for cooperation in the Middle East, and the United Arab Emirates in particular, present themselves in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) and the defence industry,’ added the Minister of Defence. ‘Estonia’s pavilion will be represented next year in Expo 2020 Dubai with ICT and defence innovation topics’.
During the course of his visit, Luik also met with Dr Rauda Al-Saadi, Head of Abu Dhabi's Digital Authority (ADDA), who had visited Estonia in the fall of this year; Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer of the Tawazun Economic Council; and representatives from the supervisory boards of the UAE’s defence companies.
A memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of cyber security was concluded in April of 2016 by Estonia and the UAE. Since 2015, Estonian defence industry undertakings have, in cooperation with Enterprise Estonia, participated in the region’s largest defence industry fair, IDEX, and the unmanned systems fair UMEX. The Estonian Defence Industry Association concluded a memorandum of understanding with the Emirates Defence Companies Council at the beginning of 2019.
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