The UAE and Italy on Tuesday signed an agreement to cooperate in the fields of culture, arts and heritage. The signing followed a meeting between His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and the delegation accompanying him at Zabeel Palace in Dubai. During the meeting, held in the presence of Dubai Deputy Ruler Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Mohammed and Monti discussed ways to bolster bilateral relations between the two countries and new avenues for cooperation in various spheres with particular emphasis on trade and cultural exchange. Shaikh Mohammed reiterated the UAE’s high esteem for Italy and praised the friendship and cooperation between the two countries. He expressed hope that the standing bilateral ties will continue to grow in various spheres through the efforts being made to expand economic and investment cooperation and partnership. Shaikh Mohammed also expressed satisfaction over the prospering relations between the UAE and Italy, especially in the political and economic fields as a result of the efforts by the Emirati-Italian Joint Committee. The Italian Premier lauded the deep-rooted relations between the two countries and expressed Italy’s appreciation and respect for the UAE’s developmental and humanitarian experience encompassing all fields. Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the cooperation agreement in the fields of culture, arts and heritage by Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Abdul Rahman Al Owais and Italian ?Ambassador to the UAE Giorgio Starace. They also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Emergency Crisis Management Authority (NECMA) of the ?UAE and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic and Department of Civil Protection. The MoU was signed by Director-General of NECMA Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi and Starace. A number of ministers and senior state officials attended the meeting and the signing of the agreements.