The UAE has opened a consulate in the Canadian city of Toronto, the Emirates’ second in the continent of North America, official news agency WAM reported on Thursday.
The consulate was opened by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.
The move will contribute to “strengthening the ties of cooperation in the trade sectors and business communities,” the report said.
The UAE currently has its embassy in Canadian capital Ottawa.
The WAM report also confirmed that the UAE’s PM and VP and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum, and Abu Dhabi crown prince General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan have accepted invitations to visit Canada. No dates were specified for the visits.
Sheikh Abdullah said: “The diplomatic relations between the two countries, which were established during 1974, developed significantly and effectively and are represented by the high-level visits of the leaders of the two countries over the past years.”
He stated that that around 40,000 Canadians were residing in the UAE as of 2013.
During his visit, the UAE’s foreign minister and his Canadian counterpart also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on political consultations and discussed bilateral relations.
They looked at ways to boost cooperation in the sectors of trade, economic, investment, industrial, transportation, gas and renewable energy and food security, the report added.
The UAE and Canada are also confirmed this week that they are holding formal negotiations for the launch of a foreign investment protection agreement (FIPA).
They are further looking at signing agreements related to defence, energy and cultural cooperation, WAM reported.
The two countries had a dispute few years ago over landing rights, following which the Emirates withdrew a visa waiver for Canadian citizens. However, the two nations resolved the diplomatic spat and the visa waiver was reintroduced in June last year.