ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, received United States vice president Joe Biden at Emirates Palace on Monday.
The two shared a working dinner and discussed cooperation on crises in the region.
Mr Biden was in the UAE for a visit that included an earlier stop in Abu Dhabi at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
His tour of the mosque covered its halls, corridors and outer courtyard. He heard about the structure’s foundation, architectural styles, mosaics, floral carvings and marble-clad courtyard pillars. He also visited the tomb of the late Sheikh Zayed, Founding Father of the UAE, according to Wam, the state news agency.
At the end of the visit, he received a copy of the book Spaces of Light, a publication of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, which includes photographs highlighting the Islamic architectural features of the mosque, and The Houses of God, a book on the history of mosques.
Mr Biden and his delegation were accompanied by Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Barbara Leaf, US ambassador to the UAE, and Yousef Al Obaidly, director general of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre.
Mr Biden also visited Masdar City on a tour that highlighted cooperation between his country and the UAE on renewable energy and clean technology.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, and other officials welcomed Mr Biden and a delegation during a tour of Masdar City.
His visit is “a testament” to the countries’ relationship, “one built on mutual trust, economic partnership and a vision to developing sustainable and knowledge-based economies”, said Dr Al Jaber.
“US cooperation with Masdar has led to advances in the research, technology innovation and application of sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing energy, water and climate challenges,” he said.
“We look forward to building on our accomplishments over the last decade and to continue developing the knowledge and expertise that will enable us to keep pushing the boundaries of clean technology.”
Meanwhile, Dr Jill Biden, wife of the US vice president, met Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, discussing ways to strengthen cooperation between their countries in women’s empowerment.
Sheikha Fatima, who is Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, welcomed Dr Biden and discussed the union’s role in implementing the directives of UAE leaders to support and help women and children.
Dr Biden commended Sheikha Fatima’s role in supporting Emirati women and praised them for attaining senior ministerial, parliamentarian, diplomatic and academic posts.
Dr Biden also visited the women’s union, hearing about the union’s work, strategy and efforts towards strengthening women’s political participation, under the guidance of Sheikha Fatima.
Dr Biden visited Al Jawhara Hall, where she viewed awards received by Sheikha Fatima for her humanitarian and cultural roles, and her efforts to advance women’s cause. She also visited the union’s activities hall and Jenatti nursery, according to Wam, the state news agency.
Dr Biden was received by Noura Al Suwaidi, director of the union, Dr Maha Barakat, director general of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Reem Al Falasi, secretary general of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Amal Al Kous, assistant undersecretary for school activities and environment at the Ministry of Education, and Dr Mouza Al Shehhi, chief executive of the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy.
A full-time English professor at a community college, Dr Biden also visited the New York University Abu Dhabi campus, where she spent an hour speaking with university leaders and students.
They described university projects and programmes to Dr Biden, such as the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholars Programme for Emirati leadership development and the Engineering Design Studio, a research lab for technology projects.
“Dr Biden offers a phenomenal role model to all students, and particularly to students like those at NYUAD, who are resolved to make a difference in shaping a world of shared understanding and service to humanity,” said Al Bloom, the university’s vice chancellor.