Transcript of an interview given by UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the London-based Arabic daily Al Sharq Al Awsat
posted on 20/11/2006
Q: Two years after the death of Sheikh Zayed, one senses an overlapping between the previous era, marked by significant reforms in the areas of politics and development, and the current era under your leadership, with growing ambitions and aspirations. Does this over-lapping provide any thrust to come up with new formulae for the handling of responsibilities or do you feel simply that the sustaining of Sheikh Zayed's rich legacy adds to your expanded responsibilities in the period ahead?
A: It is not just a feeling, but a reality. Activity in any given society is not undertaken within isolated or separate circles but as part of a well-linked chain, provided that the society's objectives are clear and specific and as long as the transition process is smoothly taking place. In the case of the UAE, both requirements are met and, therefore, an overlapping is something that is not only expected but is also desired. We are not starting from scratch - we still take our inspiration from that rich experience of the past to continue serving our country and our people.
There is no doubt that the achievements made during the reign of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan put additional duties upon us, as we need to safeguard the achievements made and to continue with the development and protection of the (UAE) federation in such a way as to enable it to adapt to the rapid changes in regional and international affairs.
Perhaps the most important legacy left by Sheikh Zayed is the clarity of the goals that he laid down. Though governed by development needs and standards, those goals are in essence are driven by humanity and by our deep-rooted traditions. They reflect the special characteristics of the UAE citizen, who is a proud Arab and Muslim.
In my speech last year on the occasion of the federation's 34th anniversary, I said that we are entering a new era we called "the enabling era", which is distinct from the previous "foundation era". I said that both eras compliment each other, seek to reach the same goals and ends.Read the whole thing from WAM