The conflict in Ukraine is going to cause a “significant change in the international order” and will have “prolonged” and “deep” repercussions, according to Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates diplomatic adviser to the president.

Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

“But I think we do really need to find a political solution. And it starts with a ceasefire and a political solution ASAP. We need to do that because the danger of horizontal or vertical escalation is real,” Gargash told CNN on Tuesday.

The UAE has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Gargash said that “the [Middle East] region … is witnessing the sort of upper structure changing, but it has to catch up and it has to catch up by emphasizing, in my opinion, non-political issues.”

Gargash, who previously served as the Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, spoke at the landmark regional meeting in Israel’s Negev desert, where top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, Israel and the United States met to discuss security issues.


At the meeting on Monday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke about the effect the new regional alliance will have on deterring Iran, but Gargash said the “Middle East is not really only about Iran … and Israel.”

“Our whole intention is to find a way of functionally working with Iran … our whole intention is that there is an agenda of stability or prosperity in the region that includes Iran and others.”

Abu Dhabi has worked to improve ties with its regional neighbors, including Turkey and Iran, and normalized relations with Israel in 2020.

“We need to turn the page and start a new page. And that new page is basically reaching out to friends of course, but adversaries also. And to make sure that you know, we rebuild these bridges, we were not going to agree with everything they want to do,” Gargash added.


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