Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

UK ‘determined’ to work with UAE to tackle ISIS threat

The UK's ambassador to the UAE has called for cooperation between the two countries to deal with the growing threat of ISIS.

ABU DHABI // The UK ambassador says Britain wants to work with Arabian Gulf countries against the marauding militants of the Islamic State as they are a global, not just regional responsibility.

The Islamic State “is a threat not only to those whom it is treating barbarically in Syria and Iraq right now, but to all civilised states and people”, said Philip Parham.

“We need a broad and effective political, diplomatic and security response. As David Cameron has made clear, the UK is determined to work with the UAE and other key regional and international partners to ensure this.”

British prime minister David Cameron wrote in this week’s The Sunday Telegraph, that the UK was looking at leading talks with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey and Iran to control the threat in the region.

Security experts say the Islamic State is gradually taking the place of Al Qaeda.

“The old Al Qaeda is dying gradually and Isis is emerging as the replacement,” said Dr Mustafa Alani, a senior adviser and director of security and defence at the Gulf Research Centre.

“It’s only a matter of time before they stretch to the region.”

Dr Alani said cooperation between the UK and the region could involve intelligence gathering and exchange, because “fighting Isis is not a regional issue, it’s a global issue”.

He said that “the UK has a long history in this field and they have a better understanding than the US about the local environment”.

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of political science at UAE University, said there was a need for cooperation because “Isis is a dangerous strategic threat and I think it’s becoming very close to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and hence very close to GCC security”.

But Dr Theodore Karasik, director at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai said the move might be too late, as a large part of the burden was already being shouldered by the Middle East.

“The UK, like other countries, are coming a little too late to the table and they want regional countries to take care of this problem,” Dr Karasik said.

“This doesn’t just have to do with Isis but it’s also what is happening in Africa.

“They want a regional solution because they don’t want to get too closely involved as they have their own problems at home.”

cmalek@thenational.ae

Updated: August 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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