Visiting evangelical Christians say UAE is a fantastic friend to the West
I think most Muslims and Christians don’t realise how much in common we have with each other JOEL ROSENBERG US Christian author
The leader of the first mission of Christian evangelicals to the UAE has described the country as a “fantastic friend” to the West.
Joel Rosenberg , an American author and commentator on the Middle East,met Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on Monday.
Rosenberg said a discussion on tolerance and the Arab-Israeli conflict had been scheduled for 30 minutes but lasted two hours.
The meeting was part of a four-day programme in which the evangelicals met UAE political leaders and influential Christians and Muslims.
Rosenberg said he presented Sheikh Mohamed with a copy of his new novel, in which Iran acquires nuclear weapons and the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israeli unite against the threat.
He said he thanked the Crown Prince for allowing Christians to practise their faith freely.
“We enjoyed the conversation we were having with each other,” the author said. “I think most Muslims and Christians don’t realise how much in common we have with in terms of our values, priorities and objectives.
“I brought Christian leaders with me who have enormous influence in America. We are coming away more convinced than ever that the UAE is a fantastic friend and ally to the US. More Americans definitely need to know that.”
Rosenberg said he told Sheikh Mohamed that he was surprised to have been invited to the UAE, not least because he holds an Israeli passport.
But he believed there is now a moment in the Arab-Israeli conflict where relations could improve.
Sheikh Mohamed discussed promoting tolerance, inclusion, respect and the peaceful co-existence between religious sects during the meeting, state news agency Wam reported.
He emphasised “the importance of inculcating the values of cultural and religious pluralism and forgiveness between followers of different religions as an essential tool to uproot the scourge of terrorism, extremism, fanaticism and hatred”.
Also attending the meeting were Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, and Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, meets Joel Rosenberg, second right, at the Sea Palace Mohamed Al Hammadi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi