DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates said Tuesday it would allow environmental activists to “assemble peacefully” at this year’s UN climate talks, despite a prohibition on unauthorised protests in the Gulf state.

The oil-rich UAE, set to host COP28 from November to December in the business hub of Dubai, requires official permission for protests but effectively bans demonstrations it deems disruptive.

At the upcoming UN climate talks “there will be space available for climate activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard”, it said. The announcement was made in a joint statement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released on Tuesday and published by the UAE’s official WAM news agency.

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The statement was released after COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber and UNFCCC chief Simon Stiell signed a bilateral agreement in Abu Dhabi that provides the legal basis for organising and hosting the climate talks.

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