ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will hold talks with US president Donald Trump in Washington on Monday.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the meeting is aimed at deepening Washington’s cooperation with a key Middle East partner. The meeting is scheduled to take place a week before Mr Trump makes the first overseas trip of his presidency, to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.
The high-level diplomacy with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh underscores the reset in relations between the GCC powers and the US under Mr Trump.
The US president has sought to strengthen ties with key regional partners to achieve the core objectives of defeating ISIL and other extremist groups, containing Iran, and brokering an elusive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Despite differences over Iran and other regional challenges during former US president Barack Obama’s tenure, the UAE was regarded as the most reliable and capable Arab partner, particularly on counter-terrorism, and the relationship with Washington is set to become even closer.