A whirlwind trip by Vice President Kamala Harris to the United Arab Emirates to pay respects following the death of its ruler doubled as an opportunity to reset a relationship with an important regional ally.
Tensions have been rising between the countries as the UAE has reportedly rebuffed Washington's oil entreaties amid other disagreements.
Some of the officials accompanying Harris had labored for months behind the scenes to ease tensions over concerns that the U.S. was pulling away from the region.
“U.S.-UAE bilateral ties have been through one of the bumpiest periods ever during recent months,” said Brian Katulis, the vice president for policy at the Middle East Institute, pointing to the standoff over oil and Ukraine (and Iran) as the Biden administration works to rejoin the nuclear deal abandoned by the U.S. under former President Donald Trump.
“This represents an effort to get them on a better footing,” said Richard Fontaine, the chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security and a former adviser to the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
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