US-UAE to hold strategic dialogue

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will today chair the first virtual inaugural session of the US-UAE Strategic Dialogue. The

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Photo: US Department of Energy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will today chair the first virtual inaugural session of the US-UAE Strategic Dialogue.

The new initiative will serve to upgrade the US-UAE Economic Policy Dialogue established in 2012 to advance trade and investment opportunities, representing the deepening relations between Washington and Abu Dhabi following the Abraham Accords. The UAE will hope to use the new platform to induce US investments in biotech, artificial intelligence and defence. Expect the UAE to move towards procurement of the advanced F-35 stealth fighter jet.

The enhanced nature of the US-UAE exchange follows a similar Strategic Dialogue initiated between the US and Saudi Arabia on October 14. The US is likely to leverage the new mechanisms with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to promote security and political ties between Israel and its Gulf neighbours—with an eye toward achieving Arab recognition of the Jewish state and containing Iran.

Expect the burgeoning US-UAE partnership to strengthen. The Iranian threat—and the UAE’s embrace of Israel—is likely to drive the relationship forward. The F-35 issue, however, could prove thorny as both Congress and Israeli officials oppose it, and Congress is obligated by law to protect Israel’s military superiority.