Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Meets with US Secretary of State, Reviews Defense Cooperation with Secretary Mattis
WASHINGTON, D.C.: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during his visit to Washington on Tuesday, discussed means to increase co-operation between the UAE and the USA, with Rex Tillerson, American Secretary of State.
During the meeting, which was attended by H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, there was a demonstration on the developments in the regional and international scene, especially the crises witnessed by Syria, Yemen and Libya.
They explored the most important ideas and diplomatic solutions suggested for these crises, and the vision of the two countries regarding the challenges that face the Middle Eastern region and undermine its foundations of peace and stability. The discussions included the international community’s efforts in fighting terrorism, extremism and violence, and the co-ordination of the two countries in this regard. They highlighted the importance of continued support to these efforts to spread peace and establish the foundations of security and stability in the region.
The meeting also witnessed deliberations on the current forms of partnership between the two countries, and their commitment to intensify efforts to fight terrorist and extremist organisations. They stressed the importance of expanding diplomatic measures to face the violent regional interferences in the affairs of the region’s countries and increased efforts to achieve stability in Libya, Yemen and Syria.
The meeting was also attended by Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority; Yousef Mana Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to USA; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, and Major-General Isa Saif bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohamed held separate meetings with Senator Paul Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Senator Bob Corker and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and senator Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader of the Senate.
During the meetings, attended by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mohamed discussed with the US senators ties of friendship and cooperation and ways to enhance cooperation, particularly in economic and commercial fields. the UAE is the US largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa. The US exports to the UAE stood at US$ 22 billion in 2016.
The meetings also touched on a number of regional issues, including the endavours to combat terrorist groups, the crises in a number of countries of the region and the efforts to strengthen regional and international peace, stability and security.
Sheikh Mohamed underlined the UAE's vision for the region's stability and prosperity and the need for providing security to the peoples of the region to focus on development under the umbrella of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
He also highlighted the joint efforts by the UAE and the United States to instill the values of religious moderation and tolerance, citing the success made by Sawab Center, a joint UAE-US initiative to combat online propaganda of extremist groups and the Abu Dhabi-based Hedaya Centre, which is devoted to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in all of its forms and manifestations.
Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the importance of the visit to be made by President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, his first trip abroad as president of the United States. He said the visit will further strengthen the United States relations with its friends in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
He thanked the US Congress members for their continuous support for the cooperation between the United States and the countries of the region in countering extremism and terrorism and for their efforts to put an end to the regional interventions aimed at undermining regional security and stability.
The US Senators praised the strong relations between the two countries and their continuous endeavours to fight terrorism and extremism and to provide assistance to the countries in need.
The meetings were also attended by Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Ambassador Yousef Mana Al Otaiba.
US Secretary of Defense
Later in the day, Sheikh Mohamed met with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and marked the signing of a new Defense Cooperation Agreement. The Crown Prince and the Secretary reviewed ongoing joint operations and planning to defeat AQAP, Al Shabab, ISIS and other extremist groups in the region. The Secretary and Sheikh Mohamed also shared assessments of Iran's increasingly aggressive behavior including continued development of ballistic missiles, illicit supply of weapons to its regional proxies, and harassing naval activities in the Gulf.
Today's meetings mark the beginning of Sheikh Mohamed's two-day visit to Washington, DC, which will also involve discussions with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Congressional leaders.
The official delegation accompanying Sheikh Mohamed included UAE National Security Advisor H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.H. Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Al Shamsi, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces Lt. General Eisa Al Mazrouie and UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.
The strong ties between the UAE and US are deeply rooted in shared interests and common values. Together, the two countries are working to promote regional security, create economic prosperity, and address pressing global challenges.