UAE will continue to support coalition efforts again ISIL
ABU DHABI // Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has reaffirmed the UAE’s support for the global coalition to counter ISIL.
He said that while Iraqi forces were making progress in the effort to defeat the militants, Baghdad should increase its efforts and cooperation to counter the group.
The UAE’s position, according to Dr Gargash, has always been clear: that countering ISIL required political action in Baghdad that included the Sunnis, in addition to the necessary support of ground forces.
“The UAE maintains an unwavering position on supporting the forces fighting Daesh. I am not talking about thousands of troops, but I am talking about troops that back the forces fighting on the ground if the global coalition believes that the US should take on the leadership in this effort.”
Dr Gargash’s statements followed threats made on Saturday by Waleed Al Mu’alem, the Syrian foreign minister, against any troops that entered the country without Damascus’s consent, that they would be returned in “wooden boxes”.
According to Theodore Karasik, senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics, this made it clear that the war of words was “rising quickly in a very dangerous situation”.
This also highlighted that “de-conflicting the sides from each other is going to be a major undertaking by warfare and not diplomacy”.
Mr Al Mu’alem’s statements, said Azza bin Suleiman, a member of the foreign committee at the Federal National Council, were a normal thing.
“He is an official in a state, so he would issue such a statement against forces entering his country.”
She believed that Dr Gargash’s statements were meant as reassurances that the UAE would continue in its efforts against ISIL.
Published: February 7, 2016 04:00 AM