Sheikh Mohamed, Biden pledge to de-escalate, end conflicts across the region

The two leaders discuss a wide range of regional and global issues



AP
AP

By Wam

Published: Sat 16 Jul 2022, 11:07 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Jul 2022, 11:12 PM

The United States President has reaffirmed his commitment to support the UAE in defending itself against terrorist attacks, including the one which targeted civilian sites in the Emirates in January 2022.

Presidents His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Joe Biden met for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Arab Summit in Jeddah on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of regional and global opportunities and challenges, which require close coordination between the nations as strategic partners.

The US President expressed appreciation for Sheikh Mohamed's leadership in breaking barriers, forging diplomatic relations with Israel, and deepening cooperation with other countries in the region. The leaders also discussed the US’s role in helping develop new economic, trade, and people-to-people relations between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, as well as deepening the ties between these states and Egypt and Jordan through new frameworks of cooperation.

US lauds UAE's efforts in pursuing regional stability

The two leaders affirmed their commitment to deepen the extensive security cooperation. Biden noted that the UAE is the only country in the Middle East to have deployed its military forces alongside the US army in every international security coalition involving the US since Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-1991. The two leaders acknowledged the close and decades-long cooperation in their nations’ shared mission to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

Biden also emphasised the centrality of the UAE as a strategic partner and as a critical part of the security partnership among the GCC states, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also confirmed that the United States is the primary security partner for the Emirates, and the two leaders intend to accelerate and intensify discussions to enhance these historic ties further. The leaders committed to continue the close cooperation that led to a truce in Yemen, now entering its 15th week. They expressed their appreciation for the valuable work of the GCC, the US Special Envoy, and the UN in achieving the truce. They committed their full efforts toward guiding the parties forward in a political process that can realise a lasting settlement to the conflict.

Biden emphasised the threats still emanating from Yemen and elsewhere and the importance of ensuring that the UAE has the best and most effective means to defend its homeland and people.

The leaders committed to continue to use their collective diplomatic standing to de-escalate and end conflicts elsewhere in the region. They discussed the importance of protecting the prospects of a two-state solution and assuring that the Abraham Accords' benefits also accrue to Palestinians. They reaffirmed their support for Iraq and welcomed the landmark agreements to connect Iraq’s electricity grid to those of the GCC member states and other projects further integrating Iraq into the greater region.

On economics, commerce, and trade relations

Biden noted that the UAE is one of the fastest growing US economic partnerships globally and a significant investor in the US economy.

He welcomed the UAE’s economic initiatives throughout the Middle East and beyond, including its recent Free Trade Agreements signed with Israel, India, and Indonesia and new investments in Jordan and Egypt.

The leaders tasked their teams with finding areas to deepen and expand commercial partnerships, as well as negotiating a broader strategic framework agreement between the UAE and the United States. President Biden recognised the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its policies and enforcement mechanisms in the fight against financial crimes and illicit money flows. Both leaders highlighted the extensive and enduring educational, cultural, and health partnerships between the two countries.

Biden welcomed the UAE’s long-time commitment to global energy security as a reliable and responsible supplier and recognised its leading role in advancing climate action, the energy transition, and developing clean energy technologies.

President invites Biden to attend COP28

Sheikh Mohamed extended Biden an invitation to attend the COP28 to be convened in the UAE in 2023. Both leaders noted the critical launch of the water and solar energy arrangement between Israel and Jordan with Emirati and American backing and investment as a model for future regional partnerships. They asked their respective climate envoys, John Kerry and Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, to explore new opportunities in the climate and clean energy sphere to drive economic growth and sustainable development.

They noted the UAE’s successful Expo 2020 Dubai, which showcased the UAE as a convener of global events that promote sustainability, innovation, and dialogue.

Biden also recognised the importance of the UAE as a force for change, global citizenship, and prosperity. He acknowledged the UAE’s leadership in promoting religious co-existence and challenging religious hatred through such initiatives as the Abrahamic Family House and the Hedayah Center.

He expressed appreciation for the role the UAE has played in delivering thousands of tonnes of medical supplies to nations around the world during the Covid-19 pandemic and its response to calls for humanitarian assistance during natural disasters and conflicts around the region.

The two leaders also noted the unique position of the UAE as a tolerant home to more than 200 nationalities and faiths coexisting in peace and as the most sought-after destination for Arab youth seeking a brighter and more prosperous future.

During the meeting, the US President offered condolences to Sheikh Mohamed and all Emiratis on losing former president Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Mohamed thanked Biden and the American people for their sympathy and for the visit of Vice-President Kamala Harris and her delegation to Abu Dhabi in May.

The US leader congratulated Sheikh Mohamed on his recent election as UAE President and extended him an invitation to visit the US later this year.


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