Kamala Harris reaffirms US commitment to UAE security in call to President Sheikh Mohamed

White House issues message of solidarity on first anniversary of Houthi attack on UAE

Kamala Harris, US Vice President and Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, meet President Sheikh Mohamed in Abu Dhabi last year.  Ms Harris and Sheikh Mohamed spoke by phone on Wednesday. AP
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President Sheikh Mohamed received a phone call from US Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, in which the leaders reaffirmed security commitments, welcomed the coming Cop28 conference and discussed regional issues.

Ms Harris "affirmed her country's permanent commitment to the security of the United Arab Emirates within the framework of security partnership and friendship ... on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Houthi terrorist attacks" in the UAE, Wam reported.

Three people were killed and six injured last January when an oil distribution plant in Mussaffah was attacked by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, prompting worldwide condemnation.

Several attempted rocket and drone strikes were intercepted.

US President Joe Biden issued a statement of solidarity to mark the anniversary, saying Washington "stands resolute to ensure it cannot happen again".

Ms Harris also thanked Sheikh Mohamed in advance for the UAE's hosting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Cop28, starting in November.

The event will be a crucial moment for world leaders to demonstrate commitment to pledges made at the climate summit in Paris in 2015.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and president-designate of Cop28, released a statement, which said: "We will bring a pragmatic, realistic and solutions-oriented approach that delivers transformative progress for climate and for low-carbon economic growth."

In an interview with The National, US climate envoy John Kerry said he had “high expectations” of the UAE to place energy transition front and centre.

Sheikh Mohamed and Ms Harris discussed a range of other regional issues in their "friendly" phone call, Wam reported.

Updated: January 18, 2023, 5:15 PM