Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

The Middle East is critical to global security

Our readers have their say about Mike Pompeo's visit and plogging

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the Emirati ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the Emirati ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP

I refer to your editorial US engagement in the Middle East is critical to global security (January 13): even though the US remains a vital power in the region, there has been a change in its approach in recent times.

The US government’s decision to withdraw its troops from conflict-hit Syria is a good example of this change in tactic.

However, history reveals that the US has had a serious role in almost every single recent episode in the Middle East. Its close alliance with many countries has increased its involvement.

For the US, it is always a challenge to keep its allies in the region gratified in every aspect. However, Donald Trump’s approach, as president of the US, seems to indicate a lack of adequate knowledge on Middle Eastern affairs.

The enduring US commitment to the region is a strategic benefit to many, especially the GCC countries and this must be a strong emphasis of discussions at every official and unofficial gathering of representatives from the US with its counterparts in the region.

When it comes to global security, no one can overlook the importance of the Middle East.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat

Your editorial was an interesting read. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the UAE's capital could mark a turning point in the region's security.

The US and UAE have enjoyed a good relationship over the years, thanks to their bilateral trade, and his visit will carry great significance.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Don’t be a litterbug – pick up your rubbish

With regards your story Why plogging is the social media fitness craze that needs to catch on in the UAE (January 3), it turns out I was cool without even knowing it.

I even pick up rubbish when I am out at sea paddleboarding. I agree that people need to be taught how to dispose of rubbish properly.

Pam Durant, Dubai

I was doing it without even knowing it was an exercise. I pick up litter for the sake of our public spaces and beaches in Dubai.

Marisa Zanella, Dubai

Littering is an epidemic in this country. There is an assumption from some people that there will be someone who will pick up after you.

Massive fines for littering, enforced by the police, would help. Education and a change of mindset are the only way to change bad habits.

Neil Squibs, Abu Dhabi

Updated: January 13, 2019 06:00 PM