Blinken reportedly apologised to UAE for slow response to Houthi attack
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly apologised to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed last month for Washington's response to Houthi attacks against the UAE, according to Axios.
Blinken met the bin Zayed, widely considered to be the UAE's de facto ruler, in Morocco while discussing North African security issues and rising food and energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with a number of Arab leaders and officials.
ICYMI: 🇦🇪🇺🇸@SecBlinken apologized to #AbuDhabi's MbZ last month for the #US's delayed response to Jan.'s Houthi attacks against the #UAE, as per @axios.— Bachar EL-Halabi | بشار الحلبي (@Bacharelhalabi) April 14, 2022
Relationship btwn the two has been tense lately, but the meeting in 🇲🇦Rabat seems to have cleared the air, "to an extent."
Blinken reportedly told the Crown Prince that the United States had taken too long to respond to attacks launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels/
The meeting helped “move the relationship between the UAE and the U.S. back on the right track,” Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, was quoted by Axios as saying.
It had earlier been reported that Blinken had pledged to do "everything we can" to help Gulf states defend themselves against Houthi attacks during the meeting.
A drone attack by the Houthi rebels – against whom the UAE is waging a war in Yemen as part of a Saudi-led coalition – killed three people and wounded six others on 17 January.
The Biden administration condemned the attack and called it an act of terror, but declined Abu Dhabi’s request to designate the Houthis as a terrorist group.
Muhammad bin Zayed reportedly refused to meet US General Kenneth McKenzie when he arrived in the UAE in February .
Abu Dhabi’s frustration with the United States reportedly led to the UAE abstaining from a vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
According to sources, the UAE felt abandoned by the United States given their response to the invasion of Ukraine was much faster and more robust than when the Houthis launched drone strikes against the Emirates.