UAE Foreign Minister warns US officials about dangers of political Islam
WASHINGTON – Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister, began a visit to Washington, where he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Congressional leaders.
During his meetings with US policymakers, Sheikh Abdullah discussed the threat posed by political Islam and extremist groups that are undermining stability in the Middle East region by meddling in the affairs of other nations.
He was referring to a recent foiled plot organized and carried out by a Muslim Brotherhood cell with the aim of destabilising the UAE.
Earlier in July, the State Security Court of the Federal Supreme Court in the UAE sentenced 56 people to 10 years in prison, five others for seven years and a further eight were convicted in absentia, getting 15-year terms. Another 25 people, including 13 women, were acquitted.
The UAE said earlier that “media is open and can freely express the opinions of all residents in the country, and that the country does not mind political criticism and does not forbid human rights activists from carrying out their operations.”
The UAE “is however stringent against any action that threatens national security.”
The UAE also reiterated its full respect of human rights and its commitment “to the best practices in this field, which are part of its traditional values and principles.”
The UAE Foreign Minister discussed with senior US officials regional matters, including the transition taking place in Egypt, the situation in Syria, efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, and ways the UAE and US can further cooperate to deter regional threats of aggression in order to promote peace, stability and development in the Middle East.
Sheikh Abdullah briefed US Government officials and Members of Congress on the UAE’s efforts to support the Egyptian people during the current transition, and explored opportunities to work collaboratively with the US and other nations to help stabilize Egypt.
While meeting with the US Secretary of State, Sheikh Abdullah applauded US efforts – particularly the personal and persistent role of Secretary Kerry himself – to restart the Israel-Palestine peace process and encourage both sides to resume negotiations, with the hope that a mutually acceptable solution can be reached with all parties.
During meetings with leaders from the US Senate and House of Representatives, Sheikh Abdullah shared the UAE’s perspective on developments in the Middle East region.
He also reviewed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation between the UAE and US with Congressional leaders, underscoring the deep military, security, economic and cultural ties that already exist between the two nations.
UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba joined Sheikh Abdullah in his meetings with the US officials. Sheikh Abdullah will conclude his visit to Washington, DC by visiting the UAE Embassy, where he will meet with UAE diplomats and lead a roundtable discussion for leading US foreign policy analysts.