Countries in the Gulf region – Iran and the six Gulf Arab states – will emerge “weaker, poorer and damaged” from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the UAE’s Minister of State, Dr Anwar Gargash. Speaking to the BBC from Abu Dhabi, he said the answer was for the whole region to try to de-escalate its tensions.
Iran, just across the waters of the Gulf, has been the worst-hit country in the region with over 122,000 cases registered and more than 7,000 deaths. The UAE has sent medical aid to Iran, as well as to the UK.
“We knew back in January this was coming our way, that it was not going to stay in China, so we moved very quickly to prepare for it,” says Dr Gargash.