/President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed pays tribute to Armed Forces on Unification Day.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed pays tribute to Armed Forces on Unification Day.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said that uniting the defence forces of the seven emirates under one flag and central command, is an important milestone in the journey of building the federal state and strengthening its structure, empowering its people and consolidating its institutions.

Speaking to the military journal, 'Nation Shield', on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the UAE Armed Forces' Unification Day, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stated that there is no development without security and no security without a strong national army. A united and high professional and competent military, he added, is a source for security and safety and a core component in the building of the state and deepening the values of loyalty to the homeland.

The full text of the President's statement follows: Commanders, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of our gallant Armed Forces, Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh On the 43rd anniversary of the Unification of our Armed Forces, we salute you and express our pride, gratitude and appreciation for the great efforts you are making through discipline, efficiency and competence to perform your sacred duty of defending the nation, safeguarding the gains and achievements of its state and people. On behalf of you all, we pray the Almighty Allah to shower His mercy on the souls of our Union's founding fathers and the leaders behind the unification of our Armed Forces - the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers the first members and rulers of the Supreme Council, and to reward them for what they offered to their nation. We also express respect and reverence to our martyrs who offered the ultimate sacrifice with their lives to keep the UAE's flag high as a symbol of force, dignity and pride. We also ask Allah to make Paradise their eternal abode and grant patience and solace to their families.

We also extend our greetings to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, who oversaw the process of modernisation and development of the capabilities of our Armed Forces and enhancement of their readiness, and their tireless efforts in building a strong safe and sovereign state.

The 6th of May 1976, on which the defence forces of the seven emirates united under one flag and central command, is an important milestone in the journey of building our federal state and strengthening its structure, empowering its people and consolidating its institutions. There is no development without security and no security without a strong national army. A united and high professional and competent military is a source for security and safety and a core component in the building of the state and deepening the values of loyalty to the homeland Apart from their key mandates of defending the nation and its security and stability and preserving its gains, implementing the state policy in supporting sisterly and friendly countries, engaging in international efforts aimed at settling disputes and confronting disasters, offering humanitarian assistance and participating in regional and global peace-keeping missions, our Armed Forces remain a school for deepening the values of loyalty, belonging and citizenship, and an institution for cementing national unity and enhancing national identity and solidarity.

The issuing of the Federal Law on National and Reserve Service in 2014 expanded the role of the Armed Forces, and opened the door before our sons and daughters to engage in military life in defence of their nation and to form a real back-up to our Armed Forces, given the noble values and authentic traditions and positive behaviour they gained from the military in addition to the discipline and responsibility they learned.

Dear citizens, We are a peace-loving nation, advocate and sponsor of acceptance, adopting principles of cooperation and coexistence in our foreign policy. We also thank Allah for granting our nation, people and residents the grace of stability, prosperity and happiness.

We are also completely conscious that we are not living in an isolated world as we affect others and are being affected by others. We also believe that the security of our country and people - in any case - forms an integral part of the Arab, Gulf, regional and world security. In accordance with this belief and its obligations, our Armed Forces have been and are still participating in several foreign humanitarian, security and military missions to mitigate the impacts of wars and disasters while confronting security risks and the sources of threats in support of international joint security, peace and cooperation.

We are proud of the high standards of efficiency and excellent performance our Armed Forces have shown in undertaking overseas missions, which have earned them the satisfaction of the leadership, the pride of the nation and appreciation from the international community. We feel proud of our Armed Forces before the whole world.

Our Armed Forces will always remain the strong arm and guard as well as the protective shield of the Union State as the founding fathers desired it to be. Armament, modernisation, training, rehabilitation and care for their personnel is a strategic goal and a top national priority for our government. We will supply them with the most sophisticated weapons and technologies, advanced defence and administrative systems and best international military practices, so as these forces can occupy a leading position among the world's most strongest armies.

Dear officers and soldiers, We as people and as leaders are proud of your efficiency, satisfied with your readiness, pleased with your performance and have appreciated your sacrifices. We also draw strength, determination and will from your sincere loyalty, your firm belonging and your ultimate sacrifices. On the anniversary of this spectacular day, which coincides with the 'Year of Tolerance' which promotes the culture of peaceful coexistence and human fraternity, we pray to Allah that He may shower His mercy on the souls of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, and his fellow founding fathers who laid the solid building blocks of this army, the protector of our security and stability. Staying the same course as our founding fathers, we will continue to support the Armed Forces in the areas of organisation, weaponry, training and care, in an unequivocal commitment to our top national priority.

Our heartfelt greetings and appreciation go to our faithful men and women operating in the fields of giving and sacrifice.

May Allah guide us to the righteous path.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs