Australian Bushfires: Prime Minister Scott Morrison Thanks the UAE for Support
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Australian Bushfires: Prime Minister Scott Morrison Thanks the UAE for Support

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, pledged support to Australia as raging fires have left a trail of death and destruction across the country.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has pledged support to Australia as the country tackles raging fires which have led to mass destruction and loss of lives in the past couple of months. During a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE, which is home to around 17,000 Australian expats, was ready to support Australians. He promised to send equipment, manpower and financial assistance to help battle the wildfires and aid the rebuilding process. He informed that Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, would serve as the UAE’s main point of contact with the Australian Government.

Recently, the UAE’s national carrier Etihad Airways also announced that it would waive off all flight change fees for Australian residents who have been affected by the bushfires sweeping through their country. Etihad is also working with Emirates Red Crescent to raise funds and send 200 volunteers to Australia to provide relief and support to the people. Emirates Red Crescent shared they have a 'very good team' of volunteers and are sending them with instructions on how to deal with the fire and smoke, as the smoke is more dangerous.

Responding to these initiatives, acting ambassador in the Australian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Julian Shams said, “I’m very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and all UAE entities for their kind offers of support, and I know all Australians will be touched by this generosity from our friends on the other side of the world."

Acknowledging the UAE’s kind gestures, the Australian Prime Minister also wrote on Twitter, "Thank you UAE for your condolences and offers of support." Australian bushfires have killed more than 25 people and millions of animals, and also destroyed thousands of home. Many celebrities and well-wishers from the around the globe have been sending donations to help fight the fires and assist people who have been forced to flee their homes.

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.

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