US remains UAE's most important ally, says ambassador Al Otaiba in end-of-year statement

Envoy to Washington praises achievements of Abraham Accords and expresses optimism on climate action and space exploration

UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba said the Emirates' ambitions are 'truly out of this world'. Evelyn Hockstein / The National
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The UAE's ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba has praised the Abraham Accords, strides in space exploration and climate action and Washington's role as a key partner, in end-of-year remarks.

“The UAE has moved further and faster than any other country, because our ambitions are truly out of this world,” Mr Al Otaiba said in a video address celebrating accomplishments made in 2022.

Mr Al Otaiba said the US is the UAE's “most important partner and our bilateral relationship is more crucial than ever”.

The ambassador also expressed his enthusiasm for the 2020 Abraham Accords, which established diplomatic relations between the Emirates and Israel. Bahrain also established diplomatic relations with Israel under the accords.

Since the Abraham Accords were signed in September 2020, ties between the UAE and Israel have grown in a number of fields, including the economy.

Mr Al Otaiba said in his video address that the agreement is “a big part” of the UAE's broader goals to work with allies to combat climate, and have “paved the way for stronger economic and cultural ties” throughout the region.

Among those diplomatic advances made possible by the accords this year was the I2U2 summit — a newly formed grouping of the US, Israel and the UAE to “re-energise and revitalise alliances” across the world.

The quadrilateral I2U2 stands for “I” for India and Israel and “U” for the US and UAE.

Mr Al Otaiba also made clear the UAE's ambitions headed into 2023 extend beyond Earth.

He highlighted the country's achievements in space.

These include the country's first astronaut, Hazza Al Mansouri, travelling to the International Space Station in 2019, the launch of the Hope probe to Mars in 2020 and Hope going into orbit around the Red Planet in 2021.

The UAE's mission to land a rover on the Moon was launched on a SpaceX rocket from Florida this month.

Built by engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai, the Rashid rover is currently on its three-month journey to the Moon.

The Emirates plans to invest more than Dh3 billion ($816 million) in the private space sector to increase the country’s capabilities in space over the next decade.

“We've just begun our journey into the new frontier. And I can't wait to see what's next,” Mr Al Otaiba said.

Updated: December 27, 2022, 1:08 PM