UAE urges ‘unambivalent’ U.S. security commitment

i24NEWS - Reuters

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Emirati Foreign Affairs of State Minister Anwar Gargash at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziEmirati Foreign Affairs of State Minister Anwar Gargash at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

'The UAE has no interest in choosing sides between great powers'

A senior Emirati official on Monday called for “codified and unambivalent” security commitments from the United States, adding that the Gulf state has no interest in “choosing sides.”

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, wary of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, have been strengthening links with China – a major trade partner – and Russia, a fellow member of the OPEC+ oil bloc. 

Meanwhile, the UAE has also forged ties with Israel, and there have been talks of a building of relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh.

Both the UAE and Saudi kingdom have voiced concerns about Washington’s commitment to the region and chafed at restrictions on arms sales from the U.S. – their main security guarantor.

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Emirati Foreign Affairs of State Minister Anwar Gargash, a diplomatic advisor to President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said the UAE needs security partners who can help build defense capabilities as it also works to ease regional tensions, focus on economic growth, and collaborate on global challenges.

"Our primary strategic security relationship remains unequivocally with the United States," Gargash said.

"Yet, it is vital that we find a way to ensure that we can rely on this relationship for decades to come, through clear, codified, and unambivalent commitments," he added in a speech delivered to the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate.

The UAE would continue avoiding dependence on “just one or two countries” for its economic prosperity and security by maintaining balanced and diversified relations, he said.

"The UAE has no interest in choosing sides between great powers.”

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