Ambassador Al Otaiba Emphasizes Mutual Interests

January 13, 2009

HE Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates Ambassador in Washington, DC, presented his credentials to President George W. Bush at the White House on July 28, 2008. He succeeded HE Ambassador Saqr Ghobash, who had served at the post since March 2006.

Located at a critical strategic position bordering the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Hormuz, the UAE is an important and reliable ally of the United States. President Bush visited the UAE in January and HH General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was hosted by the President at Camp David last month.

“The UAE enjoys a broad and comprehensive relationship with the United States, based on mutual interests,” Ambassador Al Otaiba said after his meeting with President Bush. “I was sent here by President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with a clear mission: to further strengthen the UAE’s relationship with the United States.”

“The current state of UAE-US relations is excellent,” continued Ambassador Al Otaiba. “We share common interests to advance peace and security, promote economic stability and growth, and forge closer cultural and educational ties.”

With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the UAE is a dependable and substantial economic partner with the United States. The US Commerce Department named the UAE as the United States’ single largest export market in the Arab World, with $11.6 billion in exports in 2007.

The UAE provides ongoing and essential support for US forces in the Middle East, and worked together with the United States in Afghanistan, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as UN Operations in Somalia and Kosovo, Ambassador Al Otaiba said.

As tangible evidence of the growing cultural relationship, Ambassador Al Otaiba cited the upcoming establishments of a Guggenheim Museum and a New York University campus in Abu Dhabi, as well as recent partnership bringing a Boston University dental school program to Dubai.