US Vice President, officials going to UAE to pay respects

US Vice President, officials going to UAE to pay respects

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ( Associated Press) – A high-level US delegation led by Vice President Kamala Harris visited the United Arab Emirates on Monday in honor of the federation’s late ruler and met with the new president – a powerful show of support as the Biden administration was seen by its peers. seeks to mend the troubled relations with the United States.

The delegation included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and Climate Envoy John Kerry. It marks the highest-level public visit by Biden administration officials to the oil-rich capital of Abu Dhabi.

UAE names outspoken Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Its new president after the death of his half-brother last Friday. Sheikh Mohammed has served as the de facto ruler of the country and shaped the country’s foreign policy since Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan suffered a stroke nearly a decade ago.

A series of presidents and prime ministers descended on desert sheikhs over the weekend, underscoring Abu Dhabi’s influence in western and Arab capitals To honor the late Sheikh Khalifa, praise Sheikh Mohammed and strengthen relations. French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were the first European leaders to jet to the UAE capital.

Before leaving for Abu Dhabi, Harris said she was traveling on behalf of President Joe Biden to mourn the passing of long-sick Sheikh Khalifa. and to strengthen America’s important ties with the United Arab Emirates.

“The United States takes very seriously the strength of our relationship and partnership with the UAE,” Harris told reporters. “We’re going there to express our condolences, but also as an expression of our commitment to the strength of that relationship.”

Blinken was the first to land in Abu Dhabi ahead of talks with his Emirati counterpart. Officials were vague about the agenda, but it was widely expected that they would discuss the United Arab Emirates’ long-standing frustrations about US security defenses in the region, as well as countries with Russia over the war. Will also address the tension between on Ukraine.

The United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, has faced US pressure to stay away from Russia and pump more oil to improve stability in energy markets as Europe tries to wean itself off Russian crude.

But the United Arab Emirates is a major Russian trading partner and a member of the so-called OPEC Plus agreement, of which Russia is a key member. Emirati rejects US demands Resistance is rooted in a clear sense that, despite its continued military presence in the Arabian Peninsula, the US is no longer such a reliable partner.

After taking office, Biden dropped a terrorist designation on Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have fired missiles and drones at the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and sought to revive Tehran’s broken nuclear deal with world powers. Trying to – a deal that the Gulf Arab states fear should encourage Iran and its allies.

America’s sudden and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer and its long-term foreign policy goal of moving from the Middle East to China have added to Gulf Arab concerns. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has banned the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates with the consent of former President Donald Trump.

Trump had scrapped Iran’s nuclear deal and was heavily loved by Emirati and Saudi officials.

Earlier this spring, Yousef Al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US, described the aides as a “stress test”.