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Statement by Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba on Enhanced UAE-US Defense Cooperation

February 2, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC (February 2, 2022) – During a call between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the two leaders discussed enhanced bilateral measures to counter Houthi terrorist acts against civilian infrastructure around Abu Dhabi International Airport and Al Dhafra Air Base, which houses thousands of US military personnel.

Remarking on the pledge by the two leaders to deepen defense cooperation to counter Houthi aggression and protect residents of the United Arab Emirates, including 65,000 US citizens, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba issued the following statement:

“US naval and air deployments to the UAE are a welcome and valued signal of common purpose against Houthi and other threats. Close UAE-US cooperation in air defense has been critical to protecting the UAE and UAE-based US personnel against recent Houthi-launched missile and drone attacks. For more than 25 years, the UAE-US security partnership has made both countries safer.”

Ambassador Al Otaiba reiterated the UAE’s call for the US government to re-designate the Houthis a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under US law. 

Writing recently in the Wall Street Journal, he and UAE Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said that the “Houthis have essentially designated themselves as terrorists” and that US designation as an FTO would “help choke off their financial and arms supplies without restricting humanitarian relief for the Yemeni people.”

A growing number of US leaders have condemned the recent Houthi attacks on the UAE. For more information on why the US should return the Houthis to the FTO list, visit the UAE Embassy website