First Arab Foreign Minister Welcomed at State Department by Secretary Pompeo
(Washington, DC, May 14, 2018) – Today, UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan began a visit to Washington, DC, meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Sheikh Abdullah and US officials reinforced the close bilateral cooperation and partnership on a range of strategic, security and economic priorities. He also highlighted the UAE’s forward-looking approach to building a more tolerant, prosperous and peaceful region that advances collective UAE and US interests and values.
Sheikh Abdullah restated the UAE’s support for President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and his leadership in challenging the full range of Iranian threats across the region from ballistic missiles to its arming and training of proxies like Hezbollah and the Houthis. He noted that the UAE would continue to closely coordinate its policies on Iran as part of a working group with the US, Saudi Arabia, and other committed nations.
The UAE Foreign Minister recognized the Administration’s determined efforts to de-escalate tensions and seek a negotiated path to remove the danger of nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.
On Yemen, Sheikh Abdullah emphasized the UAE’s commitment toward a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict and support for the UN-led political process. He also described the Coalition’s comprehensive humanitarian assistance efforts in both government and rebel-controlled areas.
Sheikh Abdullah also updated US officials on the Coalition’s progress against AQAP and other extremists in Yemen, while continuing to pressure the Iranian-supported Houthi rebels. He made clear that blocking Iran’s ability to traffic increasingly sophisticated weaponry into Yemen, including ballistic missiles used to attack Saudi Arabia, is a key condition to any negotiated outcome.
On commerce and trade, Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the US’ $15 billion trade surplus with the UAE and the hundreds of billions of dollars of UAE investment in the US. He thanked Secretary Pompeo for working to achieve understandings on civil aviation, and noted the industry is at the center of a UAE-US trade and commercial relationship that generates enormous benefits for both countries.
Sheikh Abdullah emphasized that today’s announcement confirms business as usual by validating all the rights and benefits – including “Fifth Freedom” services -- included in the 2002 Air Transport Agreement between the two countries. He added that UAE and US airlines continue to have complete commercial flexibility to add or adjust services to meet travelers’ demands.
Sheikh Abdullah also noted that as a responsible trading partner and strong security ally, the UAE was hopeful that a comparable and timely understanding would be reached on UAE aluminum and steel exports to the US.