Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi praised the United Arab Emirates on Monday during the World Government Summit in Dubai. He also met with UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Egyptian president began his remarks by acknowledging the two rulers as his “brothers,” according to reports.
UAE-based Al Ain media said that “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, received Egyptian Abdel Fattah El Sisi in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai.”
The World Government Summit 2023
The World Government Summit 2023, which began in Dubai on Monday, has brought together a number of important leaders. The National in the UAE said that “Sheikh Mohamed held separate meetings with Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait; Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Prime Minister of Yemen; Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government; Wavel Ramkalawan, President of Seychelles; Mario Abdo Benitez, President of Paraguay; and Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.”
The visit by the Egyptian leader is important and forms part of wider regional movements that underpin the Gulf’s importance. For the UAE the meetings this week continued to underpin the UAE’s support for strategic partnerships and also cooperation. When it comes to Egypt, this is a key partnership that relates to the wider Arab world. Al Ain media noted that “during the meeting, they reviewed the continuous development of the UAE-Egyptian strategic partnership in the field of government modernization and the opportunities it provided for the exchange of expertise and experiences in the field of government work, which resulted in a number of initiatives and projects keeping pace with the future directions of the Egyptian government, in a manner that supports the achievement of the objectives of Egypt's Vision 2030, and contributes to promoting a culture of excellence.
The Egyptian presidential website said that the Egyptian leader had arrived to take part in the World Government Summit and that the “president was received by president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
The spokesman for the presidency, Counselor Ahmed Fahmy, said the meeting “emphasized the special characteristics of the firm Egyptian-UAE relations, which reflects on the ongoing coordination between the two brotherly countries. He added that this helps reinforce stability in the Arab region and the Middle East. The talks also touched on ways to cultivate closer bilateral relations and strengthen cooperation across an array of fields.”
The meeting with Sisi comes after Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan traveled to Syria to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The UAE was among the first countries that stood with Syria and sent huge relief and humanitarian aid and search and rescue teams,” Assad said during a meeting in Damascus with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, according to Al-Arabiya. “The UAE minister last visited Damascus in January, when he also met Assad, one a trip that signaled warming ties with war-torn Syria after years,” the report said. This was also an important visit and it showcases the UAE’s key role in the region.
Important meetings in Saudi Arabia
Meanwhile, there are also important meetings taking place in Saudi Arabia. According to Al-Arabiya “senior US officials from the Biden administration are set to take part in security meetings this week in Riyadh to discuss Iran and other common threats, officials said, pushing back against claims that Washington is looking to distance itself from the Middle East.” The US government delegation will remain through the meetings of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The officials visiting include defense officials and those from the State Department. “Integrated air and missile defense and maritime security will be two main topics discussed, according to US officials,” the report at Al-Arabiya noted. “The US delegation for the working group on Iran will be US special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, while the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, Dana Stroul, will head the US delegation for other security working groups. Senior military and civilian officials will also partake in the meetings.”
US Naval Forces that are part of Central Command, usually called Navcent, also posted a tweet about the meetings in Riyadh noting that “Vice Admiral Cooper met with Royal Saudi Naval Forces Commander Vice Adm. Fahad Al-Ghofaily in Riyadh, February 12. The leaders discussed bilateral maritime security efforts and reaffirmed a shared commitment to promoting regional security and stability.” Cooper is a key figure in the region because as head of Navcent, he has pushed to include more unmanned surface vessels and use innovative initiatives to include them.