17 Jun 2010

UAE to meet pro-Israel Pacific countries

3:29 pm on 17 June 2010

The United Arab Emirates will hold a meeting with pro-Israel Pacific countries in Abu Dhabi next week.

The Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau all have long-term aid agreements with the United States, and their UN votes on Middle East issues nearly always follow the US position.

The Marshalls foreign minister says the meeting, which has been called by the UAE foreign minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will consider prospects for co-operation between the Arab world and Pacfic Islands.

John Silk says it's the first time the Pacific has been invited to consultations at the initiative of the UAE.

He says he's asked government officials to submit development project requests that can be put forward next week.

Mr Al Nahyan says the UAE has set up a 50 million US dollar partnership in the Pacific program targeted for Pacific island development needs and wants annual meetings to discuss development issues and establish research partnerships.