The Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates has met for the first time since 1976 to discuss mounting public pressure to declare a complete union in the country.
The Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates has met for the first time since 1976 to discuss mounting public pressure to declare a complete union in the country. The seven ruling sheikhs gathered in Abu Dhabi on Monday (19 March) to review a ten point memorandum drawn up last month by the forty-member U.A.E. Federal Council. Events in Iran have prompted the Supreme Council to begin serious negotiations on measures which would bring greater cohesion to the seven-state federation.
SYNOPSIS: The negotiations took place in Abu Dhabi's Mushref Palace. They were led by the United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who is a committed federalist. The U.A.E. Federal Council prompted the Supreme Council meeting when it issued a ten point memorandum, on the state of the armed forces, the financing of the federal budget, and establishment of a central Emirate bank. The memorandum would require each state to funnel at least some of its oil revenue through the bank.
Outside the palace, federal enthusiasts carried banners and chanted slogans. The demonstrators are calling for the abolition of all internal borders. Sheikh Zayed told the crowd that all ministers were in agreement on ways to bring progress and prosperity to the Emirates. The young federalists, who have been demonstrating throughout the Emirates, are not content with measures to consolidate the eight-year-old federation, but are seeking to have the seven ruling sheikhs declare a complete union of their countries.