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Mon 14 Jan 2008 12:07 PM

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UAE progress 'wonderful'

US president says Emirates has used oil wealth judiciously, pledges to support renewable energy drive.

The UAE has invested and used its oil wealth judiciously, US president George W. Bush said on Monday, dubbing the progress and development achieved by the UAE as "wonderful", reported state news agency Wam.

Bush, who is in Abu Dhabi as part of his Middle East tour, made the remarks during a visit to the Masdar Initiative exhibition staged at the Emirates Palace hotel.

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) is a government-owned firm focused on developing and commercialising renewable energy and resource sustainability industries in Abu Dhabi.

Bush was accompanied on the visit by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.

The US president thanked Sheikh Mohammed for his commitment to conservation of the environment and said the UAE had achieved progress in the area of renewable and alternative energy, according to Wam.

Al Jaber said Bush had pledged to help the UAE in enhancing cooperation with US companies involved in renewable and clean energy.

The UAE is the third stop on Bush's whirlwind visit to the region. He will fly to Riyadh from Dubai on Monday where he will meet with leading officials including King Abdullah.

Bush’s tour, which includes stops in Israel, Palestine, Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, ends on January 16.

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