Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed said the Arab world possesses the potential to revive and rebuild its civilisation.
The UAE Prime Minister was speaking during question and answer session on reviving the Arab world and its future at this week's World Government Summit in Dubai.
“As we talk about resuming civilisation, we need hope. I am optimistic because it is the man who makes civilisation, economy and prosperity. If the Arab and Muslim man succeeded in building a civilisation in the past, they are capable of resuming it,” he said, addressing the summit.
The three-day summit is hosting 150 speakers across 114 sessions and more than 4,000 regional and global personalities within 138 international delegations – the largest participation since the event was first launched in 2013.
The Arab world has plenty of potential to revive itself, including human resources, education, fertile lands and will power, Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The only thing missing is the management. The management of governments, economy, resources, infrastructure and even management of sports.
“We are 300 million, almost equal to the population of the United States, but look how many medals they win in the Olympic Games. We have failures in certain areas that need to be addressed,” he added.
Responding to a query on how to develop civilisation through separating religion and politics, he said: “During the pre-Islam era, tribes fought and invaded each other’s, and when Islam came, the civilisation started. Today, there are people with half or no knowledge at all, who blow themselves up in Europe and America in the name of faith.
“Their interpretation of Islam is completely wrong. It is a tolerant faith that calls for peace for all people of the world, not only Muslims. They just want to kill men, enslave women and refer that to religion. They simply know nothing.”
Speaking on the future of UAE relations with the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump, Sheikh Mohammed said the country’s relations are built with governments and not individuals.
“We will talk to the new president, exchange views and build our relations [with the United States] on the mutual interests of our countries and peoples.
“If you ask me whether previous administrations made mistakes, I would say yes. They destroyed Iraq and they supported Arab revolutions. Instead of turning Iraq into a model state for the Arab world, the country has become the worst example.”
Though he applauded the progress of the Gulf Cooperation Council under Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and other leaders, he called for leaving the dream of “Arab Common Market” referring to the world becoming a “common global market”.
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