| 4 December 2023, Monday |

Washington’s concerns over UAE’s changing partnerships

“Has the US lost the UAE to Russia and China?” This is how the American news site “The Hill” titled its analysis back in June, a viewpoint echoed by other American media outlets.

The analysis suggests that predicting an imminent improvement in the tense American-UAE relations is uncertain.

In less than two months, the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan landed in the UAE after visiting Saudi Arabia on July 28th.

So, is Washington aiming to revert its relationship with one of its prominent Middle Eastern allies to its former state? And how will the UAE respond to this effort?

However, both sides discussed regional developments and ways to enhance the US-UAE partnership during the meeting between Sullivan and UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Qasr Al Shatie in Abu Dhabi.

According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the meeting addressed regional and international matters, particularly the evolving situation in the Middle East and collaborative efforts to support peace and stability therein.

So, where does the importance of this US official’s visit to the UAE lie, especially at this time?

Washington appears concerned about the UAE’s pivot toward China and Russia to achieve economic growth and diplomatic influence.

Moreover, the UAE has become Russia’s and China’s largest trading partner in the Arab world. This shift comes after the US failed to deter the attacks carried out by Iran’s proxies in recent years, according to media analyses.

Furthermore, Emirati officials recorded several visits to Moscow led by the country’s President. The United Arab Emirates was honored as a guest of honor at the Russian Business Forum.

As for the Chinese track, Abu Dhabi aims to conduct military exercises between both nations’ air forces.

Another factor that might require US-UAE rapprochement is the escalating tension between Washington and Tehran.

Last Sunday, a gathering of 3,000 US forces moved towards the Suez Canal as additional measures by the United States to prevent Iran from seizing merchant vessels in the Gulf.

All of this comes after the UAE’s withdrawal from a joint naval force led by the United States in the Gulf in May. This force operates off the coast of Iran and in the Red Sea waters to maintain security in the strategic region, which often witnesses attacks on ships and oil tankers.

  • LBCI