UAE wins race to host IRENA HQ

UAE foreign minister says hosting green energy agency an 'honour'

By Andy Sambridge

The UAE's foreign minister said on Tuesday that his country's victory in the race to host the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was a "great honour to all Arabs".

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al thanked other countries for their support for the UAE, adding: "I believe the UAE's winning of the bid to host this agency is a source of pride for us in the UAE and a great honour for all Arabs."

He praised the strong Arab support for the UAE during the past weeks and months, beginning from the Arab League, the Arab foreign ministers, the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, news agency WAM reported.

He said the UAE's hosting of the IRENA headquarters was "a clear indication of the UAE's deep desire to invest in renewable energy, modern energy and future energy".

He cited the US$15 billion Masdar Initiative investment in renewable energy inside and outside the UAE, adding that the company was currently implementing a number of renewable energy projects with Europe, North Africa, Australia and the US.

Masdar will build the first green city in the world, where the IRENA headquarters will be based.

He said the city will also serve as a base for renewable energy-related research and education, adding that the UAE is committed to handing out $50 million annually for development projects in Third World countries, particularly, in Africa.

"We in the UAE extend our hands to all countries of the world. The agency is not exclusively for the Emiratis. It is an international asset. All countries of the world have a right in the agency," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah made the statement during a joint press conference held at the conference hall soon after the meeting in Bonn to decide the location of the agency.


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