Biden centres Israel normalisation in first call with MbZ

US President Biden centres Israel normalisation in first call with UAE's MbZ
2 min read
Normalisation, Iran and the Tigray conflict were on the agenda in Joe Biden and Mohammed bin Zayed's call on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden underscored the importance of UAE-Israel ties to the US [Getty]

US President Joe Biden held his first call with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on Tuesday, the White House said in a statement.

In the call, Biden underscored the strategic significance of the UAE's relations with Israel, while also discussing Iran, Afghanistan, and the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia.

The US president "expressed his full support for strengthening and expanding these arrangements", the statement said, referring to the UAE and Israel's burgeoning ties.

The pair also discussed "the nuclear and regional dimensions of the threat posed by Iran, as well as the common quest for de-escalation and peace" in the Middle East.

In a statement on Twitter after the call, Prince Mohammed said that Washington and Abu Dhabi will "continue to strengthen our strategic relations and build on strong common interests".

Last year, the UAE was the first of four Arab countries to announce it would normalise ties with Israel, in a deal brokered by former President Donald Trump's administration.

The deal made the UAE just the third Arab country to establish ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan signed normalisation deals shortly afterward.

Despite drawing Drawing Abu Dhabi closer to Washington, the move sparked protests in many Arab and Muslim-majority states, and was universally opposed by all Palestinian factions.

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