ABU DHABI: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah concluded his three-day special visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday, a trip which has further strengthened ties between Malaysia and the Arabian Gulf nation.
It was his first visit to the UAE after being sworn in as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Jan 31.
During the visit, Sultan Abdullah held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – who also happened to be the Malaysian monarch’s college mate back in the 1970s.
Both of them attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom and their close friendship was reflected in various moments during the visit, including when Sheikh Mohamed presented the visiting Malaysian head of state with a framed photograph showing them together in Sandhurst.
Sheikh Mohamed personally came to the hotel where Sultan Abdullah was staying to pick up his friend before heading to the Presidential Palace together for the official welcoming ceremony at the start of the visit.
Sultan Abdullah and Sheikh Mohamed stood shoulder-to shoulder as they performed Friday prayers at the resplendent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the Emirati capital before they said their goodbyes at the Presidential Terminal of the Abu Dhabi International Airport at the conclusion of the visit.
During his visit, Sultan Abdullah also met with UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Minister of Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
In a statement, Istana Negara noted that the special treatment accorded to the Malaysian king reflected the close friendship between both men who first crossed path more than 40 years ago.
It said that overall, the special visit paved the way for deeper bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and the UAE and served as an avenue to exchange views over regional and global developments of mutual interest.
It said that His Majesty was fully satisfied with the special visit to the UAE and hoped that this momentum would continue as both countries sought ways to bolster bilateral relations in various fields.
Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who accompanied Sultan Abdullah on the trip, said the special visit would definitely boost Malaysia-UAE ties in the long run and was expected to create more opportunities and cooperation in various areas.
“Our relations are getting stronger. This trip symbolised the warm and close bilateral relations between the two nations,” he said.
Also present during the special visit were Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE Datuk Syed Md Hasrin Tengku Hussin and the Consul-General in Dubai, Datuk Yubazlan Yusof.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also graced a gathering with Malaysians residing in the UAE and visited Wahat Al-Karama, a memorial to honour UAE’s fallen heroes as well as the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum. - Bernama