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US Secretary of State lauds strong ties with UAE

posted on 23/10/2015: 932 views



The US secretary of state lauded his relationships with UAE leaders, which he said have grown close during his numerous diplomatic efforts in the Middle East.

"Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed are – they are friends, and we've really gotten to know each other in the course of dealing with all of the turmoil and conflict and challenges of the Middle East and elsewhere,” John Kerry said in Washington, after receiving the Diplomat of the Year Award 2015 from Foreign Policy magazine.

"They have taught me a lot, actually, and I appreciate their friendship. I appreciate their leadership. And we have worked hard at a number of different issues,” Mr Kerry said.

Since his appointment in February 2013, Washington's top diplomat has spent a significant amount of his time focused on regional issues, with varying levels of successes despite his tireless efforts.

Attempts at restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process may have failed, but he played a key role in securing the Obama administration's signature foreign policy achievement – the Iran nuclear deal.

Both initiatives occurred against a backdrop of a crumbling order in the Middle East – with the rise of ISIL, a brutal war in Syria and a spiralling rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The US response to the turmoil tested, and sometimes strained, the administration's relationship with Washington's traditional Gulf partners.

The award ceremony on Tuesday was attended by diplomats, US officials and prominent figures from Washington. Mr Kerry was introduced by UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, who said, "few diplomats have been more committed … [to] promoting the power of diplomacy”.

"He has led the effort to build new bridges with Cuba, Burma and of course, Iran,” Mr Al Otaiba said. "He's helped facilitate peace in Colombia, a new trading partnership with the Pacific Rim, and a new start in Egypt.” – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/world/americas/us-secretary-of-state-lauds-strong-ties-with-uae

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