Iran and eco­nomic ties top Sheikh Ab­dul­lah’s US visit

The National - News - - NEWS - JOYCE KARAM Wash­ing­ton

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.

WAM

Min­is­ter of Foreign Af­fairs Sheikh Ab­dul­lah bin Zayed held talks with Steve Mnuchin, the Trea­sury Sec­re­tary

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