Iran and economic ties top Sheikh Abdullah’s US visit
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, has concluded a threeday visit to Washington in which he discussed bilateral economic ties and Iran’s destabilising activities in the region with top US officials and legislators.
Sheikh Abdullah met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and members of Congress from both parties during his visit, which was his first since June last year.
He oversaw the signing of a US-UAE aviation agreement that preserves the open skies framework, and also discussed bilateral economic ties and “joint efforts to counter extremist groups and Iran’s destabilising activities in the Middle East”, the UAE Embassy in Washington said.
In his meetings on Wednesday, Sheikh Abdullah “highlighted the US’s $15.7 billion (Dh57.62bn) trade surplus with the UAE and the hundreds of billions of dollars of UAE investment in the US”. The embassy noted the UAE’s ranking as the top US export destination in the Mena region in past nine years, with bilateral trade at $24.3bn over the past decade.
Sheikh Abdullah and Mr Mnuchin also discussed counterterrorism and illicit financing and the need to be “vigilant against Iran’s efforts to exploit their financial institutions to exchange currency and fund destabilising activities”.
On the economic side, Sheikh Abdullah urged the US to reconsider its “national security-premised restrictions under Section 232 on UAE aluminium and steel exports to the US”, which make up 25 per cent of overall UAE exports.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed held talks with Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary