We will look at EXPO-2017 in Astana with great interest – head of UAE News Agency


We will look at EXPO-2017 in Astana with great interest - head of UAE News AgencyHis vision upon Kazakhstan-UAE relations in an exclusively interview to Kazinform explains H.E. Head of State News Agency of United Arab Emirates WAM Mr. Ibrahim Al Abed.

– Dear Mr. Ibrahim Al Abed, allow me start our interview with a question about the prospects of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates? As we know, last year, the two states celebrated the twentieth anniversary of mutual diplomatic relations.

– Prospects for the development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates are good, in my view.

Over the last twenty years, relations have been successfully established in a wide range of fields.  The leaderships of both countries enjoy friendly ties and there are many exchanges of visits both at an official level and in terms of tourists and businessmen.

We are both major producers of oil and gas and this has helped in the promotion of a flow of UAE direct investment into Kazakhstan. There is investment in other areas, too, like the new Abu Dhabi Plaza in Kazakhstan.

At the same time, trade between the two countries is steadily growing, helped by the establishment of good air links. I am confident that this will continue to grow in the future.

As we know, Astana has been selected as the site for the 2017 World EXPO, and we will look at this with great interest, since the UAE city of Dubai is a candidate city for the 2020 EXPO. We hope that the UAE can count on Kazakhstan’s support for our bid! – Would you tell us about the history and current activities of the Emirates state news agency “WAM”, successfully headed by you?

– The Emirates News Agency, WAM, (Wakalat Anbaa al-Emarat), was formed in 1976 and began transmission in Arabic in June 1977 and in English in December 1978.

Today our agency is one of the largest news agencies in the Arab world, with around 180 employees in the UAE itself and nearly 30 overseas offices and correspondents. Its headquarters is in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, with other offices throughout the Emirates, in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, Ra’s Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain.

Overseas, WAM has offices throughout the Arab world, in Cairo, Beirut, Rabat, Riyadh, Damascus, Sanaa, Algiers, Jerusalem, Gaza, Khartoum, Amman, Baghdad, Tunis and Tripoli. Other offices and journalists are in London, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, Moscow, Washington, New York, Tehran, Islamabad, New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, Istanbul and Canberra.

Emirates news agency also operates a web site, with services in Arabic, French and English (www.wam.org.ae). We keep up with the times – our readers can get our news from social networks “Twitter”, “Facebook.”

WAM also has numerous exchange agreements with other national and regional news agencies, allowing for the distribution of our news throughout the world. We also provide assistance to foreign news agencies with offices in the UAE and we are particularly pleased that the Kazakh news agency, Kazinform, opened an office in the UAE last year. This will, I am sure, help to promote exchange of information between us.