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Abdullah Bin Zayed meets with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Shaikh Abdullah thanked Secretary Tillerson for taking the lead to engage and strengthen America’s relationship with its key regional partners

Image Credit: WAM
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

WASHINGTON: Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, met last night with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Shaikh Abdullah thanked Secretary Tillerson for taking the lead to engage and strengthen America’s relationship with its key regional partners and for his assertive approach against extremism and aggression.

Shaikh Abdullah also briefed the Secretary on the diplomatic and economic measures taken by the UAE and other responsible nations against Qatar for its persistent support for extremist individuals, groups and incitement and radicalization through their media platforms. Shaikh Abdullah also accepted the Secretary’s offer to assist in facilitating a diplomatic resolution that addresses these threats to the shared interests of the UAE and US, and to broader regional stability.

He also reaffirmed the UAE’s vital role as a model of regional stability, progress and openness in the Middle East. In addition, he and Secretary Tillerson discussed a positive agenda for the region’s future, which includes greater opportunities for young people, more emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, and advancing the position of women in all areas.

Earlier in the day, Shaikh Abdullah met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Foreign Minister and Secretary discussed joint efforts to shut down terror finance networks and the UAE’s recent designation of 59 individuals and 12 groups for providing material support for terrorism.

The two senior officials noted the importance of maintaining an open investment environment that has contributed to the US’ $19 billion trade surplus with the UAE in 2016, the US’ third-largest globally. Supporting hundreds of thousands of American jobs, the UAE remains the US’ largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa region, a position it has held for eight consecutive years.

Shaikh Abdullah also conducted meetings with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell. The meeting focused on strengthening cooperation to enhance regional security.

Shaikh Abdullah briefed the senior officials on the steps the UAE and other nations were taking to address and confront Qatar’s support for extremism in the region. They also discussed ongoing joint operations and planning to defeat AQAP, Al Shabab, Daesh and other extremist groups in the region.

During his visit, Shaikh Abdullah also met with senior congressional leaders including Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee including Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY).

Today’s meetings mark the beginning of Shaikh Abdullah’s two-day visit to Washington, DC, which will also involve discussions with other senior officials. Accompanying Shaikh Abdullah in the meetings was Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States.