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Blinken assures UAE leader of US help over Houthi attacks


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought to guarantee Gulf monarchies on Tuesday that Washington is decided to assist them fend off assaults from the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen.

Blinken met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, in Morocco as a part of a journey to the Middle East and North Africa.

Washington’s Arab allies chafe at what they see as declining US dedication to safety of their area within the face of Iranian involvement in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon which has nudged them into widespread trigger with former arch-foe Israel.

Unusually for a US secretary of state, Blinken’s journey didn’t embody any stops in Gulf monarchies or talks with Saudi officers.

“We have real challenges to confront together, in the region and beyond,” Blinken mentioned firstly of the assembly with Sheikh Mohammed on the crown prince’s non-public residence in Rabat.

The first problem Blinken cited was a sequence of missile assaults by the Houthis towards the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“We’re determined to do everything we can to help you defend yourselves effectively against that,” Blinken mentioned, including that he would additionally seek the advice of the Emirati chief on makes an attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and strengthening collective safety relating to Iran.

Sheikh Mohammed mentioned the assembly was “a very important opportunity” and “I’m sure we have a lot to talk about, especially our bilateral relationship.”

Gulf states have for years been pissed off at what they see as US inaction in confronting Iran’s function within the area, however their issues have grown since Joe Biden grew to become president 14 months in the past.

They are fearful in regards to the impression of a possible new nuclear cope with Iran and aggravated that Washington has ended its assist for his or her struggle in Yemen, put new circumstances on weapons gross sales to Gulf states and criticised their human rights data.

Blinken attended a summit between Israel and a few Arab nations on the weekend, together with the UAE and Morocco.

Ukraine impacts

Though the United States is targeted long-term on the strategic problem of rising Chinese affect, and its consideration now’s on the Ukraine disaster, very excessive crude costs have underscored the continued relevance of Gulf oil producers.

Blinken was additionally anticipated to emphasize the significance of each the UAE and Saudi Arabia in his talks with Sheikh Mohammed, discussing Iran, Yemen, world vitality markets and the UAE’s rapprochement with Syria, US officers mentioned earlier than the assembly.

In return, he was searching for to beat Gulf resistance to a US request to lift oil output to tame rampant crude costs which have aggravated excessive inflation charges globally.

Blinken referred to the impacts of the struggle in Ukraine, together with on vitality and meals costs, as a problem he would focus on in Tuesday’s assembly.

“The United States is a very important partner for all of us and we are very proud of the relationship. I think what we need is pragmatism. We need to look at the objective of the energy and what we’re asking for is not to tell us ‘do this’ or ‘do that’,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei mentioned.

Washington desires its Arab allies to take a stronger stance towards Russia over its assault on Ukraine by voting with the United States within the United Nations, becoming a member of Western sanctions and even sending safety help to Ukraine.

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