Embracing links with United Arab Emirates

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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WELCOME TO SAMOA: The new Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Samoa, Dr. Obadi Al Hairi Salem Ketbi (right) with their Highnesses, Filifilia Tamasese and Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi at Tuaefu yesterday.

WELCOME TO SAMOA: The new Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Samoa, Dr. Obadi Al Hairi Salem Ketbi (right) with their Highnesses, Filifilia Tamasese and Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi at Tuaefu yesterday. (Photo: Sarafina Sanerivi )

Dr. Obaid Al Hairi Salem Ketbi is the new Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Samoa. 

He arrived during the weekend and yesterday, he presented his credentials to the Head of State, His Highness, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, at Tuaefu.

A traditional Ava ceremony was held to welcome Dr. Obaid, followed by the presentation of his Letters of Credence.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries started in 2010. 

And according to Dr. Obaid, the relationship between the countries has improved over the year through friendship and cooperation through the United Arab Emirates (U.A.)-Pacific Partnership.

He said the U.A.E shares common interests in the fields of sustainable development, food security and climate change. 

In accepting Dr. Obaid’s letter of credence, His Highness Tui Atua thanked U.A.E for its assistance for Samoa.

 “As a strong advocate for Pacific unity, Samoa is thankful for the assistance from the United Arab Emirates for various projects in the Pacific in the education, infrastructure and renewable energy sectors amounting to more than USD$50million,” said His Highness Tui Atua.

“Samoa and the United Arab Emirates further share a common interest in the area of food security, sustainable development as well as climate change which is of a particular concern to Samoa as small island state."

“We are thus pleased to see and active presence of M.A.S.D.A.R, renewable energy company from the United Arab Emirates in Samoa, sponsoring the completion of the new wind farms which will supply renewable energy to the people of Samoa." 

“We have also made much headway in the bilateral negotiations of the Air Services Agreement between U.A.E and Samoa since 2010 which was proposed in an effort to link our two countries through the provision of airlines services between Asia and the Pacific.”

Dr. Obaid brings with him over 38 years of military, homeland security and business management experience. 

He holds a BSc, MSc (Engineering; BBA, MBA (Business Management”; Msc (National Resource Management and PhD (International Business). 

He started his professional career in the U.A.E Armed Forces where he had a distinguished track record rising to the position of the Chief of Logistic Staff (2006-2008); Commander of the U.A.E Humanitarian Aid Forces, Coordinator of the demining in Lebanon, and Commander of the U.A.E Humanitarian Coordinator in the Iraqi War. 

He was appointed to be the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Arab Emirates to Australia and Samoa. 

Prior to his appointment, he was a member of the decision making Council of the Government of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Abu Police in charge of Homeland Security. 

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