The United Arab Emirates called for stronger bilateral ties with Egypt on Tuesday following the swearing-in of the new Islamist president of the largest Arab nation.
The UAE and some other Gulf states have been wary of the rise of Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere in the wake of the Arab Spring for fear this could encourage Islamist groups and dissent on their own turf.
But UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, in a statement issued on the UAE state news agency WAM, said he was “optimistic that the era of His Excellency President Mohamed Mursi will see tangible achievements in bilateral relations and important milestones in various domains”.
He praised Mursi for the speech he delivered at the University of Cairo on Saturday, his first public address after his inauguration in which he sought to reassure countries about changes in Egypt.
The UAE foreign minister “valued Mursi’s indication that there would be no meddling in the affairs of others and that the revolution would not be exported”, WAM reported.
“This approach is that of a capable statesman and of Egypt, a country all Arabs want to see stable and prosperous”,” Sheikh Abdullah was quoted as saying.
Last week Egypt’s Foreign Ministry summoned the UAE ambassador of the United Arab Emirates over comments made on Twitter by Dubai’s chief of police warning against efforts to “shake the security of the Gulf”.
The UAE has been clamping down on Islamists in recent months, concerned they could be emboldened by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in other Arab countries, particularly in Egypt where the movement was born.
The major oil exporter has avoided popular uprisings that have toppled four Arab heads of state in the past 18 months.