Emmanuel Macron offered his condolences to the brother of the late Khalifa bin Zayed. Photo: AP
Some world leaders, such as the President of France Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson, Prince William or King Philip VI of Spain, traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to express its condolences to the authorities on the death of its president, Khalifa bin Zayedwho died Friday at the age of 73.
The Emirati state news agency WAM reports throughout the day on the visits of various world authorities to go to Abu Dhabi, taking the occasion to greet as well. to the new president, the powerful Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyanwho relieved his half-brother Khalifa of the post.
The agency released photos of the meeting between Macron and Bin Zayed, who in recent years have starred in a great rapprochement over the Emirates’s massive purchase of Rafale fighter planes and other types of weapons from France. , who argued that sales would serve to create jobs.
King Philip VI of Spain with the new president of the Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Photo: EFE
The ceremony was also attended by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the King and Queen of Belgium and the Netherlands, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, among other leaders.
The US delegation
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris led a high -level delegation from his country on Monday to meet with the new head of the United Arab Emirates, and try fix the damaged relations between Washington and this federation of Gulf oil monarchies.
Harris, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, as well as CIA chief William Burns, took the lead. the largest delegation in North America on a visit to the Emirates since President Joe Biden took office last year.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Reuters
The Emir of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, known as “MBZ”was elected president of the federation on Saturday, a day after his brother’s death.
“MBZ” is in fact running the country for years nowdue to the state of health of his brother.
“The United States considers the strength of our relationship and alliance with the Emirates to be very important,” Harris said before leaving for Abu Dhabi.
“We went there to offer our condolences on behalf of the Biden-Harris administration and the American people” but also to “deepen the relationship in the coming months and years” between the two countries, he added.
Prince William also traveled to Abu Dhabi. Photo: EFE
Leaders from different countries of the world went to Abu Dhabi to express their condolences but as sign of the growing importance of the Emirates.
This important North American delegation seems to have a mission of mending relations, which has worsened somewhat since Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House in January 2021.
Ukraine and Iran
Relationships are affected by Abu Dhabi’s refusal to condemn the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and by the reopening of US indirect negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. The Gulf States accuse Iran of create regional instability.
Yusef al-Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador to the United States, acknowledged in March that relations between the two countries were subject to a “stress test”.
Blinken, who arrived early in Abu Dhabi on Monday, leading the other delegation, expressed his “warm congratulations” to the new president of the Emirates.
“He will carry the legacy of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. We will continue to maintain close cooperation between our two people in the future,” he said.
John Kerry, special envoy for climate, and Brett McGurk, coordinator for the National Security Council’s Middle East and North Africa, were also part of the U.S. delegation on Monday.
The Emirates is home to US troops and has been for decades a strategic ally of the United States, but it also became closer to politics and economics to Russia in recent years.
After a period of close ties under the Trump administration, Biden’s policy has turned in the opposite direction higher demand in the matter of human rights and arms agreements.
Relations were further strained when the Emirates avoided voting on a UN Security Council resolution calling for Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine.