US President Donald Trump with Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed at the White House on Monday. Image Credit: WAM

Washington: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday held talks with US President Donald Trump over bilateral relations and ways to take them to greater heights.

Welcoming Shaikh Mohammad, Trump said: “It is a great pleasure to have Shaikh Mohammad with us today … an outstanding person whom I respect. I know how much he loves his country and I believe he loves the US as well.”

The two leaders discussed ties of friendship and cooperation in political, economic and military spheres and ways to enhance strategic bilateral relations.

Shaikh Mohammad and Trump underlined the keenness of the two countries to continue to strengthen the distinguished relations to serve their mutual interests.  

The also explored the prospects of economic cooperation and the importance of expanding their mutual trade ties to further enhance economic growth and achieve prosperity and wellbeing of the UAE and American people.

Shaikh Mohammad and Trump exchanged views over a number of regional and international issues with a focus on regional interventions that lead to destabilizing security in the Middle East. The talks touched on the Syrian crisis and ongoing international efforts to settle this issue.

Shaikh Mohammad briefed the US President on the Libyan issue and the move taken by concerned parties during their latest meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The talk also touched on the efforts by the international community to combat violence, extremism and terrorist groups, among other issues of common interest.

Shaikh Mohammad stressed that the UAE and the US have strategic partnership and are allies for a long time as their relations are based on a long history of deeply-rooted ties in political, economic, military and security domains and are based on mutual respect and common interests and values.

“The UAE is always keen to develop its strategic relations with the US and taking them forward to greater heights, especially in view of their identical views over regional and international issues, foremost of which is the GCC security, Middle Eastern crises, fight against terrorism and threats posed to the security and stability on the global scale,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

Shaikh Mohammad, who is in Washington for a two-day visit to the US, is accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ali Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme National Security Council.

The delegation also includes Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, Mohammad Mubarak Al Mazroui, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and Lieutenant General Eisa Saif Ablan Al Mazroui, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces.

Earlier story

Earlier, the White House had announced that the two leaders will hold talks in Washington on Monday.

The meeting is taking place ahead of Trump’s inaugural trip abroad to Saudi Arabia, a first such visit in the American history.

Trump is expected to hold three summits, including a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mid-year summit attended by the leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

In January, Shaikh Mohammad received a telephone call from Trump, during which the two leaders discussed regional issues, including security and humanitarian crisis in the region.

The two sides had emphasised their commitment to achieve stability and security in the region and support joint efforts to counter extremism, violence and terrorist groups that threaten security and safety of countries and people.

Shaikh Mohammad had informed the US president about the UAE's vision towards the current regional challenges.

''The UAE is looking forward to overcome this stage of chaos and instability in the region through joint co-operation and efforts that serve mutual interests, achieve peace and stability and restore security,'' Shaikh Mohammad had said.

A variety of issues of common concern were also discussed during the conversation.