Joe Biden thanks Sheikh Mohamed for commitment to energy security at meeting

US president invited the UAE leader to Washington, while Sheikh Mohamed asked Mr Biden to attend the Cop28 summit in the UAE

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US President Joe Biden said he welcomes the UAE's commitment to global energy security and its investment in climate action and energy transition during a meeting with President Sheikh Mohamed on Saturday.

"President Biden welcomed the UAE’s long-time commitment to global energy security as a reliable and responsible supplier, and recognised its leading role in advancing climate action," a joint statement said.

While Mr Biden invited the UAE ruler to Washington, Sheikh Mohamed extended an invite for the US leader to attend the Cop28 climate summit in the UAE in November next year.

“We both understand that the challenges we face today only make it a lot more important that we spend more time together. I want to formally invite you to the States before this year’s out,” Mr Biden told Sheikh Mohamed.

The statement added that the countries' respective climate envoys ― John Kerry and Dr Sultan Al Jaber ― would "explore new opportunities in the climate and clean energy sphere to drive economic growth and sustainable development".

It was the first time the two leaders had met since Sheikh Mohamed was elected President last month, after the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed "his appreciation for the sincere feelings shown by President Biden towards the UAE and its people", state news agency Wam said.

The meeting came during the US president's first official tour of the Middle East since taking office and happened on the sidelines of the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in Saudi Arabia that was attended by top GCC officials, as well as the leaders of Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

"It was a pleasure to participate in the Jeddah Security and Development Summit today," Sheikh Mohamed said on Twitter.

Mr Biden thanked Shiekh Mohamed for his personal role in strengthening relations in the region.

"President Biden expressed appreciation for President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed’s personal leadership in breaking down barriers and forging diplomatic relations with Israel, as well as deepening cooperation with other countries in the region," the statement said.

They also discussed the role of the US in helping forge new economic, trade and inter-people relations between the countries that have signed the Abraham Accords.

They discussed the importance of a two-state solution for Palestinians and that they also benefit from the Abraham Accords.

Mr Biden also affirmed the US's commitment to the development of defence co-operation with the UAE that has "made both countries safer and been a major contributor to regional peace and stability".

"President Biden recommitted to supporting the defence of the UAE against terrorist and other hostile acts such as the attacks targeting civilian sites in the UAE in January 2022," the statement said.

Early this year, Houthi rockets and armed drones fired at the Emirates killed three and wounded six at a construction site and oil facility.

On the war in Yemen, they discussed the now 15-week long ceasefire but "President Biden emphasized the threats still emanating from Yemen and elsewhere and the importance of ensuring that the UAE has the best and most effective means to defend its homeland and people".

Sheikh Mohamed confirmed that the US was the primary security partner for the UAE and the two leaders agreed to "accelerate and intensify discussions to further enhance these historic ties".

The two leaders "committed to continue to use their collective diplomatic standing to de-escalate and end conflicts elsewhere in the region".

On the economy, Mr Biden noted that the UAE is one of the fastest-growing US partnerships worldwide and their largest trade partner in the region. He welcomed the UAE's investment across the region and globally, as well as the free trade deals recently signed with Israel, India and Indonesia.

"President Biden recognised the UAE’s efforts to strengthen its policies and enforcement mechanisms in the fight against financial crimes and illicit money flows," the statement said.

Lastly, Mr Biden acknowledged the UAE's role as a "force for change and global citizenship," as well as its role in promoting religious co-existence and challenging religious hatred. He noted the Abrahamic Family House and the Hedayah Centre as examples of this.

"He expressed appreciation for the role the UAE has played in delivering thousands of tons of medical supplies to nations around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic and its response to calls for humanitarian assistance during natural disasters."

Updated: July 16, 2022, 5:39 PM
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