US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arriving in UAE. May 16, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arriving in UAE. May 16, 2022

US Sends High-Level Team To UAE Aiming To Mend Frayed Ties


President Joe Biden sent a high-powered US delegation to the United Arab Emirates to offer condolences after the death of its ruler, in an apparent bid to repair frayed ties.

Washington's desire to improve ties has gained renewed urgency following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which highlighted the relevance of Arab oil producers as Europe looks to cut its energy dependence on Russia.

OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the UAE have resisted calls to hike output to help tame crude prices that have aggravated inflation worldwide.

World leaders have visited Abu Dhabi to pay respects to new leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on the death of his half-brother.

US Vice President Kamala Harris landed in the Emirati capital for a short stay. She heads a delegation that includes nearly all of Biden's top national security aides, from the secretaries of state and defense and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency to high-ranking White House officials.

The make-up of the delegation reflects Washington's desire to show its commitment to the region, senior US officials say.

Harris will emphasize the intent to deepen ties across areas ranging from security and climate to space, energy and commerce, they added.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia both hold grudges against the Biden administration.

Biden has so far refused to deal directly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed as de facto ruler of the kingdom.

The Emiratis were frustrated by what they saw as lack of strong US support in the aftermath of missile attacks in January by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis on Abu Dhabi.

Persian Gulf states have chafed at perceived declining US commitment to their security in the face of Iran's missile program and network of regional proxies.

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