Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Joe Biden prior to a dinner meeting at Emirates Palace. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the UAE and the United States enjoy a strategic relationship that is based on cooperation and common interests.

His statement came during a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday in Abu Dhabi, where the two sides discussed boosting bilateral ties and ways to drive them forward for the interest of the two nations. They also discussed a number of regional issues, including the Syrian crisis, the fight against terrorism and Yemen.

Shaikh Mohammad spoke about the UAE's vision towards a stable, secure Arab world that is aspiring for an optimistic and positive future, emphasising that such a vision requires a serious, joint work to overcome crises threatening the region.

Shaikh Mohammad stressed on the mutual interest in guaranteeing the security and stability of the Arab Gulf region, given its strategic importance to the entire world. He said the UAE, under the leadership of President  His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen on cooperating and exchanging views with its friends and allies, with the United States at the forefront, in order to boost regional stability and draw up effective strategies to tackle crises in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, in addition to the fight against terrorism.

He reiterated the UAE's support of all efforts toward finding a settlement for the Syrian crisis that maintains the integrity of the country's lands, puts an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and meets their aspirations.

He expressed hope that the recently announced ceasefire, which was reached after US-Russian cooperation will represent the beginning of effective and serious regional and international action towards laying the groundwork for ending the Syrian problem.

The two sides disused during the meeting a number of regional issues, including Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen, which is being carried out under the leadership of Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen. The operation aims at enabling the internationally recognised Yemeni government to carry out its sovereign duties and to serve the interests of the Yemeni people.

They also touched on existing cooperation between the two nations in the area of combating terrorism and the efforts being exerted to eradicate terrorism, extremism and terrorist organisations. The two sides stressed that their countries will continue their fight against terrorism and that they will continue to confront any actions that undermine regional and international peace and security.

For his part, the US Vice President praised the UAE's vision, its experiment and the role of its leadership in achieving stability and development in a troubling regional setting. Biden also appreciated the transparent and clear Emirati policy, which underlines the nation's credibility. He expressed his delight at visiting Abu Dhabi and see for himself the UAE's successful civilisational and developmental experiment.

Present at the meeting were Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Anwar Bn Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,Reem Bint Ebrahem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation,Dr. Sultan Bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the United States, Barbara A. Leaf, the US Ambassador to the UAE, and a number of officials accompanying the US Vice President.