Secretary William Cohen

In 1998, former congressman, senator and then US Secretary of Defense William Cohen was tasked to rally US allied support for possible military operations in Iraq. A meeting with the UAE’s Founding Father and President, Sheikh Zayed, brought into sharp focus the deep friendship and trust between the two countries.

The former defense secretary also recalls the UAE stepping up to field the largest non-NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) contingent in Kosovo in 1999. Watching TV broadcasts of atrocities committed 3,000 miles away, Sheikh Zayed decided the UAE had to help. Almost 1,500 Emirati troops would serve alongside US and NATO allies in Kosovo – the first operational deployment of UAE forces outside the Middle East region.

Hear Secretary Cohen reflect on decades of UAE-US partnership and friendship spanning the Arab Gulf to Southeastern Europe.