x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abdullah holds 'productive' talks with Obama's envoy to Middle East

Discussion between UAE's foreign affairs minister and George Mitchell confirm a mutual commitment to regional security

WASHINGTON // Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, held talks on Monday with the Obama administration's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, in a meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs described as "productive". "America, Europe and Arab nations must continue to work together towards a practical solution that will ensure the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations," Sheikh Abdullah said in a statement after the session. "Today we had a productive discussion that confirmed our two countries' mutual commitment to regional peace and stability."

Sheikh Abdullah arrived in Washington last weekend for a five-day official visit that includes meetings with top US officials on regional security issues, the US-UAE civilian nuclear co-operation agreement and the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was set to meet yesterday with Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state. Mr Mitchell is heading to the Middle East next week for a trip that will take him to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Egypt, the Gulf and North Africa to try to jump-start talks on a two-state solution. The state department said his aim is to "discuss next steps in moving the parties toward a lasting peace that will benefit all the people of the region".

Yousef al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States who also attended Monday's meeting with Mr Mitchell, said in a statement he was "deeply encouraged" by co-operation between the United States and the UAE in the push for Palestinian-Israeli peace. eniedowski@thenational.ae