News / Middle East

Obama, UAE Leader Discuss Mideast Issues at White House

President Barack Obama meets with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, April 26, 2011, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington
President Barack Obama meets with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, April 26, 2011, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

At the White House on Tuesday, President Barack Obama met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. They discussed NATO-led military operations in Libya and developments across the region.

Aside from a brief photo opportunity, there was no media access to the discussions, which were divided into an initial round of talks, and a second round of extended bilateral discussions.

The United Arab Emirates is one of two Middle East countries, Qatar is the other, participating in NATO-led military operations in Libya, and sent aircraft to help enforce the no fly zone under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

The White House issued a brief statement on the talks, calling them productive, wide-ranging and focused on common strategic interests in the region. But it did not mention Libya or detail what was said about military operations there.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said the discussions would cover the range of developments across the region. "I think the region is the focus of those conversations.  Regional security in general would probably be the principal focus, so that would not be limited to one country," he said.

A more detailed statement by the Emirates News Agency said President Obama and the crown prince discussed UAE support for efforts in Libya along with recent developments in the Middle East, including bilateral and multilateral efforts to improve stability, and prevent the spread of extremism in the region.

The news agency account also mentioned separate meetings the UAE leader had with other U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, which it said focused on strategic and military cooperation.  

There was no indication of the extent to which the talks covered internal events in the United Arab Emirates or specifics about unrest in nearby countries such as Bahrain and Yemen.

UAE police were part of a Saudi-led military force called in by the Bahrain government in March to help put down demonstrations by thousands of people demanding political reforms from the kingdom's Sunni-dominated government.

The UAE has not seen the kind of pro-reform unrest that has occurred elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. But human rights groups say the government has been ratcheting up pressure on dissidents.

Five activists in the UAE, including prominent Internet bloggers, were detained after signing an online petition urging political reforms. The government recently dissolved the board of a prominent legal group, a move that U.S.- based Human Rights Watch says was part of a broader crackdown on peaceful dissent.

Tuesday's Oval Office meeting marked the second time in two weeks that President Obama has met with an Arab Persian Gulf state leader.   

Earlier this month, Obama and Qatar's Emir Hamad Bin Kahlifa al-Thani discussed Libya, other regional developments and the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs