The United States and the United Arab Emirates are working together to achieve the common goal of a stable, secure and prosperous Middle East. The United Arab Emirates is also an important partner in a wide range of regional security issues. The United States is cooperating with the United Arab Emirates and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to strengthen cooperation in the areas of border security, maritime security, military preparedness, cybersecurity, and counter-terrorism. Deepening the U.S. security partnership with the UAE in the wake of the Abraham Accords strengthens the Gulf region`s ability to defend and deter the increase in Iranian threats, reinforces our long-standing commitment to Israel`s qualitative military advance, and opposes the malevolent influence of the PRC and Russia. The UAE has supported the US-led stabilization mission in Afghanistan by sending a contingent of 250 members of the presidential guard since 2003. The UAE armed forces, the only Arab fighting forces in Afghanistan, operate mainly in the turbulent south, mostly establish links with local communities and build health clinics and mosques. The force remained in Afghanistan after the transition to Afghan combat in December 2014. In 2012-2014, the UAE used six F-16s for proximity air support missions for the US-led coalition. |39| The UAE has also donated hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime. The risks associated with the UAE`s involvement were evident in January 2017, when five UAE diplomats were killed by a bomb during their visit to the governor`s site in Qandahar. The UAE ambassador survived. For more than a decade, the UAE has deployed a military presence to support nato`s mission in Afghanistan.
The UAE armed forces on the ground have focused on protecting humanitarian initiatives and ensuring security and stability for local communities. Staff were also directly involved in culturally sensitive community development activities, including knowledge of the Arabic language or Islamic traditions, as well as representatives of important humanitarian organizations such as the Red Crescent. From 2012 to 2014, the UAE Air Force engaged F-16s to conduct air support missions to protect coalition ground forces in Afghanistan. Australia was the only other non-NATO nation whose armed forces were allowed to fly such missions. An agreement on visiting forces is similar to an agreement on the status of troops, except that the former only temporarily cover troops that are not stationed there. Another factor that motivated the UAE`s policy towards Iran was a territorial dispute over several islands in the Persian Gulf. In 1971, Iran, then ruled by the US-backed Shah, conquered the large and small Tunb islands of the Emirate of Ras al-Khaymah and intimidated the Emirate of Sharjah to reach an agreement on joint control of another island, Abu Musa. In April 1992, Iran claimed full control of Abu Musa. The United Arab Emirates has called for a peaceful solution to the problem through direct negotiations, referral to the International Court of Justice or another agreed forum. The U.S. position is that it does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands, but supports the UAE`s call to negotiate the dispute.
UAE officials say they have embarked on a project that constitutes a “gold standard” in supplying the UAE`s needs, without it being a proliferation potential. . . .