Landmarks around the world glow blue and yellow in support of Ukraine

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for an “immediate de-escalation and the cessation of hostilities” in Ukraine, according to a statement on Saturday.

This is the first official statement by the Gulf nation and close US ally, and it comes hours after the UAE, along with China and India, chose to abstain on a vote on a draft United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement published by the UAE’s Permanent Mission at the UN and titled “UAE explanation of vote at the UN Security Council,” the Emirati permanent representative Amb. Lana Nusseibeh said that the UAE supports the de-escalation of violence, the resumption of dialogue and the sending of humanitarian aid.

The foreign ministry did not mention Russia in the statement, instead calling on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, and focused on emphasizing the need to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance.

“Being from the Middle East, we are intimately aware of the critical importance of a stable regional security environment, and of de-escalation, diplomacy, and dialogue. Similarly, we understand from experience the need for inclusive and consultative processes, ”Nusseibeh told the Security Council on Friday, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

The UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed will be meeting Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a visit to Moscow on Monday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to a tweet by the Russian MFA.

The Emirati top diplomat also received a call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken prior to the Security Council vote, where Blinken spoke about the “importance of building a strong international response to support Ukrainian sovereignty through the UN Security Council.” The Emirati readout of the call was issued after the vote and did not include Blinken’s statement.

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