His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, affirmed that the unification of the Armed Forces under one flag and one supreme command marked a historic milestone, embodying the insightful vision of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Sheikh Zayed believed that it was vital for the country to have hard power to support the process of state formation, strengthen solidarity among its people and provide safety for its development.
With this understanding, Sheikh Zayed turned building the Armed Forces into a strategic target and made it an urgent priority. Sheikh Zayed and his brothers the Founding Fathers took the wise decision to build a unified army for the United Arab Emirates. This step contributed to the ultimate foundation of the federation and reinforced the process of state formation, national development and continuous progress.
The following are the remarks given by His Highness the Minister of Presidential Affairs, which he addressed to the UAE people through the Dir’i Al Watan (‘Shield of the Nation’) magazine on the 44th Anniversary of the Armed Forces’ Unification Day:
On this historic day, which coincides with the 44th Anniversary of the formation of our national army and the unification of our Armed Forces, I congratulate His Highness the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, who has led the lauded march of establishing and developing our Armed Forces from day one.
His Highness has provided the Armed Forces with full support, training and modern arms, developed its doctrine within a wise and balanced domestic and foreign policy. In achieving this, His Highness has had the complete support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. They are joined by with Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, all of whom have exerted great efforts in building the Armed Forces, modernising and upgrading its capabilities and competence, providing full attention and care to its affiliates and paying tribute to its brave martyrs.
On the anniversary of this glorious day in the history of our country, we all -- leadership and people alike -- stand solemnly to salute with keen appreciation the soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers and commanders of our Armed Forces, who have shouldered the responsibility and sincerely performed their duties to protect the homeland, reinforcing its security and preserving its achievements. The Armed Forces have helped our Arab brothers and sisters and defended their rights, participated effectively in peace-keeping operations, sustaining stability, restoring hope and extending aid to those afflicted by wars and natural disasters in both the regional and international theatres. All this has earned global appreciation for the UAE’s Armed Forces.
We are extremely proud of the heroism of our brave officers and soldiers who are returning from Yemen after having participated effectively in the Arab Coalition under the leadership of our sisterly nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sadly, some of these officers and soldiers fell as martyrs; others were injured. Their sacrifices have been indelibly marked in the memory of the homeland and immortalised in the emotional psyche of the citizens, as they symbolise dignity and heroism and will be a source of solemn pride for generations to come.
We ask Allah to have mercy on our martyrs, may their souls rest in eternal peace.
We pray to Allah to allow us to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to a return of this cherished commemoration as our country rejoices in well-being, security and peace, and supports security and stability in the region and the world at large.
May Allah bless each of you with peace and compassion.