President David Granger (L) and UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimy
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Minister of state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Reem Al Hashimy, became the highest ranking UAE official to visit Guyana on Monday. Al Hashimy and a large delegation of officials from the UAE are on a familiarisation mission to Guyana in an effort to expand ties between the two countries “that are new to each other”.
Al Hashimy said, “We are very excited to be able to work together.”
It is the first meeting between the two countries held in Georgetown, and Hashimy's first in the Western Hemisphere.
On Monday she met with minister of public transportation and infrastructure, David Patterson and they discussed cooperation in energy, aviation and infrastructure sectors. Al Hashimy said that the UAE is willing to provide technical support to Guyana in areas that her country is good at, such as the energy and aviation sectors.
“We’re very willing to share our expertise… if our success can be replicated with you then that makes all of us stronger,” Al Hashimy said.
Al Hashimy urged Patterson to identify areas of needs in his ministry and to provide that to her government.
“If you know what you want and what you need then we can match make with the right agencies. If you can articulate what you want and show how it aims towards your overall vision then we’re willing to share our support and knowledge,” she said.
Also on Monday, Al Hashimy paid a courtesy call on President David Granger, when discussions covered the vast opportunities within the renewable energy sector and strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, according to the Guyana News Agency (GINA)
Al Hashimy described the meeting with Granger as “exceptional”, and said the UAE is looking forward to forging a strong relationship with Guyana.
“We discussed elements of how we can strengthen our bilateral relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Guyana. There are some opportunities that exist that we could work together on. This is our first visit here and… we are very excited to be able to work together. I think it can be incredibly positive and we are both new to each other. We are now getting to know the opportunities that exist,” Al Hashimy said.
Al Hashimy praised the Guyanese hospitality.
She said, “I think your people are incredibly friendly, very warm and very welcoming. We have been well received, everybody has been very hospitable to us and we are very thankful and we look forward to working together.”
Guyana is looking to open a trade mission in the UAE and to appoint an ambassador to that country. The UAE will soon move to appoint an ambassador to Guyana as well. More recently, the two countries concluded an open skies agreement.
The two countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab/South America forum.
Al Hashimy, a high profile Emirati diplomat, received her education at Tufts and Harvard Universities. She is the managing director for the Dubai World Expo 2020 Bid Committee. Al Hashimy is also the chairperson of Dubai Cares, a children's education charity established by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2007, which is looking to expand its charitable work in Guyana.