On Monday, a senior official from the United Arab Emirates demanded “codified and unambivalent” commitments from the United States to ensure its security, adding that it had no interest in “choosing sides.”
Aware of Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have forged ties with China, a significant trading partner, and Russia, a fellow member of the OPEC+ oil alliance. The UAE has also established ties with Israel.
Both have expressed doubts about Washington’s commitment to the region and discontent over restrictions on arms sales from the US, which serves as their main source of security.
As the UAE works to decrease regional tensions, focus on economic growth, and collaborate on global challenges, Anwar Gargash, a diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, said it needs security partners who can help build defence capabilities.
Without a doubt, Gargash stated that the United States is the subject of their primary strategic security relationship.
In a speech given to the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, he continued, “Yet we must find a way to ensure that we can rely on this relationship for decades to come, through clear, codified, and unambivalent commitments.”
By maintaining balanced and diverse relations, the UAE would continue to avoid depending on “just one or two countries” for its economic prosperity and security, he said.
In a “turbulent” time for global politics, Gargash emphasised the need for measured approaches and stated that “the UAE has no interest in choosing sides between great powers.”
To counter Iran’s expanding influence and political Islamist movements perceived as a threat to the Gulf’s system of rule, the UAE has abandoned its hawkish foreign policy, which saw it intervene in conflicts ranging from Libya to Yemen.
As Turkey concentrates on development following the pandemic and at a time of rising economic competition with Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi has engaged with Tehran to reduce tensions and worked to improve relations with Turkey.