UAE envoy: Ties between UAE, US undergoing stress test
Emirati official has reiterated doubts about the course of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Emirati envoy to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba said, on Thursday, that the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States is going through "a stress test”.
He went on to say that he was confident the close partners would "get out of it."
As Washington pushes for a global response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the UAE has attempted to remain neutral between Western allies and Russia. Abu Dhabi has also urged Washington to re-designate Yemen's Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization after it launched attacks on the Gulf Arab state.
"It is like any relationship. It has strong days where the relationship is very healthy and days where the relationship is under question. Today, we’re going through a stress test but I am confident that we will get out of it and get to a better place," Otaiba added.
The United States is a key security ally for the Gulf States, but Emirati officials have expressed doubts about the US commitment to the region, and have been strengthening ties with countries such as China and Russia, as well as moving to strengthen UAE defense capabilities.
Discouraged by the slow pace of a deal to acquire US-made F-35 fighter jets and the terms of the sale, the UAE announced in December that it would suspend discussions on the deal, which is part of a $23 billion deal that also includes drones and other advanced munitions.
"I think we have a very strong and very clean track record of not only getting the most sensitive American and other Western technology, but we also have an incredibly strong track record of protecting that technology. We have had zero incidents where anything has fallen into the wrong hands," Otaiba said.
The UAE already has F-16 fighter jets made in the United States.
"We want countries and companies to come in here and create the industry...We want people to transfer their technologies here. We want people to develop their technologies here."
It is worth mentioning that the UAE abstained from a US-led resolution condemning Russia's military operation in Ukraine at the UN Security Council last week, raising tensions to remain between the US and the UAE.