Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UAE lits up with French colors

ABU DHABI - A number of the landmark buildings in the UAE, including Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, have been lit up in the colors of the French flag in a gesture of solidarity following the terrorist attacks which took place in Paris on Friday, leaving at least 129 people killed and hundreds more wounded.

This initiative comes as part of the solidarity expressed by the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This solidarity emanates from the UAE's firm position in rejection of all terrorist acts, forbidden by all religions and criminalized by all international laws and conventions.

The solidarity with France campaign kicked off this evening and will continue until midnight.

In Abu Dhabi, the Capital Gate, Emirates Palace Hotel and Sheikh Zayed Bridge have been lit with the colors of the French flag, while in Dubai, similar lights adorned the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. Al Ain's Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Stadium was also lit up in the French colors.

Following the attacks, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan reaffirmed the UAE’s full solidarity with France, a friend and strategic partner, at this difficult time in the face of the heinous crimes that claimed the lives of large numbers of innocent civilians.

He also expressed the UAE's sympathy and solidarity with the French Government and the friendly people of France in these hard times, extending his heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the victims' families.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stressed the UAE's condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, it being a phenomenon that targets security and stability in the world, stressing that such criminal acts require cooperation and solidarity at all levels in order that the phenomenon can be eradicated.

Sheikh Khalifa said that the UAE is fully prepared to cooperate with France in all measures being taken, while, at the same time, the UAE emphasizes that it will spare no effort to back all measures aimed at fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations .

He also called on the international community to intensify joint efforts to fight extremism and terrorism, which, he noted, represents a common threat to all countries without distinction.

He called on the International community to strongly unite against extremism, whether expressed through thought, through support for it or through the crimes themselves. He added that today, "we stress that our religious and human values denounce extremism and terrorism and crimes committed against civilians and innocent people."

He added that as part of the civilized world, we believe that the concept of humanity and peace is an overarching principle that gathers us under its umbrella.

Sheikh Khalifa said that the terrorist acts that targeted the French capital, Paris, yesterday confirm the urgent need for all countries across the world to fight terrorism, whatever its source and motives.

He added that terrorism has no religion or homeland and pursues ideologies that fuel the cycle of violence, hatred and revenge and repression.

He also stressed that such terrorism, which seeks to destabilize the security of France, represents a threat to all human and moral values, international laws and norms, adding that it is a brutal and inhuman deed that represents extremism and terrorism at their very worst.

Sheikh Khalifa also extended the UAE’s heartfelt condolences to the people of France and the families of the victims in a cable to the French President, Francois Hollande.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have also sent similar cables of condolences to the French President.

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