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    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposes improved relations with Costa Rica.

    Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates minister of foreign affairs and son of UAE’s late founder, recently visited Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solis to discuss taking their two countries’ relationship to “new and exciting levels.” The meeting was also attended by Costa Rican Minister Manuel González. As of February 12, the two powers signed two agreements.

    Shared Environmental Values

    According to the Emirati minister’s message:

    [quote_center]“The United Arab Emirates appreciates appreciate the positive attitude of Costa Rica on global issues, particularly in the area of climate changes and environmental protection.” [/quote_center]

    From his perspective, “Costa Rica has been one of the most ambitious and most progressive thinking on issues of climate change and sustainable development.” This aligns with the UAE’s commitment to environmental issues, as demonstrated by their $840 worth of investments for developing countries to begin producing clean energy.

    “I know Costa Rica wants and plans to use more renewable energy,” said Sheikh Abdullah. That’s why we’re in Costa Rica: to see what has been done in this area and to create a legal foundation with respect to how we can cooperate.”

    Just the Beginning

    Improved relations between the UAE and Costa Rica will include increased air transportation and political consultations, signed into effect with bilateral cooperation agreements.

    [quote_center]“Costa Rica’s economy is very dynamic,” says Sheikh Abdullah. “There are significant opportunities for the private sector… including, but not limited to, tourism, agriculture and energy.”[/quote_center]

    Thus, the UAE’s interest in Costa Rica extends beyond environmental cooperation. Sheikh Abdullah’s visit was also intended to improve trade relations.

    Americas Quarterly has identified the Middle East as an emerging influencer in Latin American affairs. According to the The IPS News, Costa Rica was the fourth and last country on Sheikh Abdullah’s Latin America tour.

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