Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discuss regional issues

  • Yemen’s Houthi rebels threaten to attack the Emirati capital
  • U.S. president speaks with Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan about regional threats

September 8

President Trump speaks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi

In addition to speaking with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and the Emir of Qatar, President Trump spoke with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In his talks with these three Arab Gulf leaders, Trump emphasized that “all countries must follow through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit to defeat terrorism, cut off funding for terrorist groups, and combat extremist ideology.”

September 9

Abu Dhabi’s top diplomat says that Doha found itself in “a difficult position” after media attacks

The UAE’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, voiced his belief that Qatar was in “a difficult position” after Doha’s “naïve media reactions” against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which he said were “unfortunate” and problematic because “they ignore the root of the problem.” Gargash continued, “The confused brother must understand that the crisis is not artificial, but has been born as a result of his support for extremism, conspiracy to [de]stabilize his neighbors and is a genuine political crisis which can be treated in means other than through its media.”

September 14

Houthis threaten civil targets in the GCC

In response to Saudi Arabia’s demands that the Yemeni port of al-Hodeida come under UN administrative control, Houthi fighters threatened to wage ballistic missile strikes capable of reaching Abu Dhabi and various civilian centers in Saudi Arabia. In response, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted: “Al Houthis’ comments threatening the UAE and its capital are tangible proof of the need for the Decisive Storm (Operation) … Iran’s militias have vile objectives and represent a real threat… We are not afraid of the Houthi threats and stupidity. It reveals the desperation of those who defend fragmented illusions, and it certainly reveals the intentions for the Arabian Gulf region security and stability.”

Analysis: A Houthi missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s major cities or on Abu Dhabi would drive a dagger into the heart of the two countries. Houthi missile technology is improving, suggesting outside help in perfecting the missiles that the rebels have in their possession. Houthi missile technology does not need to be accurate to send a message, because any missiles landing in the UAE desert would achieve that objective.

September 26

After “lobbying by UAE”, U.S. administration drops Sudan from travel ban list

Sudan, which the U.S. State Department recognizes as a sponsor of terrorism, is no longer on the list of countries facing traveling restrictions. The Trump administration decided to drop Sudan thanks to Emirati lobbying, according to various sources, including The Intercept.

Photo credit: Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore