Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

The US stands with the UAE, its partner and friend

Beyond traditional diplomacy, the US and the UAE have made advances in regional policy, defence and security, commerce, culture and education

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, July 3, 2020. / AFP
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, July 3, 2020. / AFP

On the occasion of Independence Day in the US – July fourth – I would like to take a moment to recognise the special bonds between the US and our good friends and partners in the UAE. The relationship between the US and the UAE is deep, wide and strong. It is a relationship built on decades of trust, co-operation and friendship. Our open channels of communication have led to advances in many fields: regional policy, defence and security, trade and commerce, culture and education. The US stands with the UAE to address some of the greatest challenges of our time, now and in the years to come.

The Burj Khalifa lit up in celebration of American Independence Day, in 2019, Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National
The Burj Khalifa lit up in celebration of American Independence Day, in 2019, Dubai. Reem Mohammed / The National

Given the importance of our ties, I am working with UAE leadership to establish a strategic dialogue between the two countries. Like many long-standing relationships, it is healthy and necessary to assess where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It is my hope that by bringing together the highest levels of our governments we will develop a plan to further deepen our links in an enduring manner. This dialogue will create a framework to allow both nations to focus their energies on achieving optimum, mutually beneficial results.

Emiratis choose the US as a top destination for education and tourism and the US looks to the UAE as a beacon of tolerance and understanding in the Middle East

The US and the UAE are essential business partners. Our economic and commercial alignment will support mutual economic prosperity through increased trade, investment and employment. We would like to see an increase in US talent, research and development and capital in the UAE, a regional economic powerhouse, to support the UAE’s ambition to move from an oil-based to a knowledge-based economy. This includes elements such as data privacy norms and intellectual property rights protections.

I firmly believe that we can work to benefit the two nations on issues as essential as securing food supply and protecting shared vital infrastructure from malign actors. We can collaborate on investments that drive growth and create jobs in both countries, opening economic opportunities to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

We can foster the innovative technologies that will transform our world, collaborating to develop the science to take us to Mars and beyond.

Globally, the healthcare sector is at the forefront of concern. The Covid-19 pandemic and its economic effects have reinforced how deeply our economies, supply chains, businesses and people are connected.

I have been truly impressed by the rapid and comprehensive actions the UAE government has taken to combat both the health and the economic effects of Covid-19. With health sector partnership successes such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic established in Abu Dhabi, the US would like to further expand healthcare co-operation, strengthening ties between the UAE public health sector and the US Centres for Disease Control.

Hilton is consulting with the Mayo Clinic to create new cleaning and guest safety protocols. Courtesy of Mayo Clinic
Hilton is consulting with the Mayo Clinic to create new cleaning and guest safety protocols. Courtesy of Mayo Clinic

The UAE leads the region on women’s economic empowerment and we encourage even greater leadership on this issue. Establishing a women’s accreditation body in the Middle East is an important step for the UAE to achieve gender equality for female entrepreneurs and businesses that are owned and led by women.

We encourage the UAE to be the regional host for WEConnect, part of the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the US and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. We hope to see the benefits to Emirati and expatriate women working to create a strong and vibrant diversified economy in the UAE.

Beyond traditional diplomatic channels, the US and the UAE also have a profound cultural connection. Emiratis choose the US as a top destination for education and tourism and the US looks to the UAE as a beacon of tolerance and understanding in the Middle East. Our participation in Dubai's Expo is a physical testament to the strength of these ties. We will build on these exchanges to reinforce and strengthen multi-generational affinity between the US and the UAE.

As the UAE approaches its 50th anniversary as a nation, the US is delighted to stand beside our partner and friend. We look forward to further growth and success in the coming 50 years.

John Rakolta Jr is the US ambassador to the UAE

Updated: July 4, 2020 04:13 PM

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