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Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the president of the UAE, says there is uncertainty about US involvement in the region and concerns about Beijing.
The United Arab Emirates is trying to manage long-standing rivalries with Iran and Turkey through dialogue to avoid new clashes in the region as the Gulf state tightens its economy after COVID-19, a senior official said.
Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, told a conference on Saturday that there was uncertainty over the United States’ commitment to the region and concerns about an “imminent Cold War” between Washington and Beijing.
Gulf states, which have strong economic ties to China, also rely heavily on the US military umbrella and are closely monitoring talks between the world powers and Iran to revive. a 2015 nuclear pact as well as the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal.
“We’re really going to see what’s going on in terms of America’s footprint in the region over the coming period. I don’t think we know yet, but Afghanistan is definitely a test and to be honest it’s a very disturbing test,” Gargash said.
“Part of what we need to do is better manage our region. There is a vacuum and when there is a vacuum there are problems,” he told the World Policy Conference.
The UAE has moved to de-escalate tensions by partnering with the non-Arab countries of Iran and Turkey, whose influence it had moved to counter the conflicts in Yemen, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. to go.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia say the 2015 nuclear pact was flawed because it failed to address Iran’s missile program and network of regional proxies. The UAE has also taken steps to combat organizations that some Gulf states see as a threat to their dynastic rule.
“Turkey’s recent rethinking of its policy towards Egypt, the [Muslim] Brotherhood and towards Saudi Arabia and others is very welcome. And I think it’s really important to get halfway there and connect,” Gargash said.
“The Turks are very positive about what we say to them,” he said. “Am I very positive about the contact with Iran? Yes that’s me. Am I very sure that Iran will change its regional course? I must say I am more realistic here, but I bet Iran is also concerned about vacuum and escalation.”
Gargash said the pandemic was pushing non-political priorities to the fore and a major concern now was to intervene. the US and China.
“We are all deeply concerned about an impending Cold War. That’s bad news for all of us because the idea of choosing is problematic in the international system, and I don’t think this will be an easy ride,” he said.
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