Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 September 2019

UAE-US links go beyond who is the president

No matter who wins the divisive US election, the UAE will work with the White House
The UAE will be able to work with whoever wins the US presidential election. Reuters
The UAE will be able to work with whoever wins the US presidential election. Reuters

Relations between the UAE and the United States clearly run far deeper than just the identity of the person who will occupy the White House for the next four years. This factor – combined with our firm belief that it is for Americans alone to decide the direction in which their country should go – is why we have been able to observe this divisive election with both distance and perspective.

However, while it is entirely proper for us to express no view on a preferred winner, we ought to recognise that we have interests we hope will be favoured by the incoming administration. By any measure, the US is a major global player, particularly in this turbulent region. Its policies and actions – or choices not to act – have profound ramifications for millions in the Middle East.

By any standard, this has been an unusual election – and not simply for its ugly tone, divisive nature and the way policy and facts have been sidelined in a manner unprecedented in modern presidential politics. Whoever emerges triumphant, we hope the decision will be accepted by the losing candidate and the American people will begin to bridge the divisions, exacerbated by this long campaign, between the country’s disparate communities.

Similarly, these are two imperfect candidates. As the opinion polls attest, there has never before been a US presidential election featuring two candidates with the high disapproval ratings of both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton. One obvious reaction might be for voters to simply stay home – even more than the 40 per cent or more of eligible US voters who have declined to take part in recent presidential elections. Solace ought to be taken from reports that this does not seem to be occurring, and that the distinctly different visions of these two candidates has had the effect of ensuring voters use their voice. This can only be good for America’s democracy.

Whoever emerges victorious from this election will not just control the world’s most powerful military, they will also have the bully pulpit that the White House provides. Obviously we hope to see an end to the demonisation of Islam and the failure to differentiate between the twisted misinterpretation of the religion by groups such as ISIL and the overwhelming majority of peace-loving and community-minded Muslims, whether they are living in the US or in the Middle East. It goes without saying that the UAE will work with whoever is in the White House to ensure our values of peace and tolerance continue to spread.

Updated: November 7, 2016 04:00 AM

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