US President Biden invites the President of the United Arab Emirates to visit Washington

US President Joe Biden on Saturday invited his Emirati counterpart, the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, to visit the United States, a friendly gesture after months of strained relations over the war in Ukraine and other problems.

“We both understand that the challenges we face today only make it so much more important that we spend more time together. And I want to formally invite you to the United States,” Biden said after the two men met on the sidelines of a gathering of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia.

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Biden made it clear he was inviting Sheikh Mohamed to the White House – “the Oval” – and said he wanted the visit to take place “before the end of this year”.

Sheikh Mohamed took office in May after the death of former UAE President Sheikh Khalifa.

The wealthy Gulf state hosts US troops and has been a strategic partner of Washington for decades.

Sheikh Mohamed’s political adviser, Anwar Gargash, told reporters on Friday that US-Emirati relations were “in a good place” but there were issues “that we need to address”.

After meeting with Saudi leaders on Friday, Biden is trying to use Saturday’s summit as an opportunity to lay out his vision for Washington’s role in the region.

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Kevin E. Boling