The United Arab Emirates discontinued its participation in a US military-led naval coalition in recent months, the country’s foreign ministry revealed Wednesday.
US officials are rushing to downplay the withdrawal as a temporary state of affairs, but the United Arab Emirate’s recent diplomatic overtures to Iran suggest otherwise.
The announced withdrawal from the 38-nation task force came in a statement which rejected a recent Western media report claiming UAE officials are privately expressing frustration with their US counterparts over recent seizures of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf by Iranian forces.
The UAE has rejected the mischaracterization, in recent press reports, of USA-UAE conversations regarding maritime security, the UAE’s official news agency wrote Wednesday.
The foreign ministry stressed that the UAE remains committed to responsibly ensuring the safety of navigation in its seas, in accordance with international law.
American officials reportedly insisted, however, that the Gulf nation hasn’t officially withdrawn from the USA-helmed maritime task force.
Instead, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain is claiming the UAE withdrew their participation for the moment in the task forces but not their overall membership.
Western media has echoed that assertion, with one major British outlet pointing to the fact that the CMF’s official website still lists the UAE as a member nation as proof that Abu Dhabi has not left the CMF.
Such reports tend to paint the UAE’s lack of participation in the US military project as an expression of anger towards the US for not being aggressive enough towards Iran.
But the recent warming of diplomatic ties between Tehran and Abu Dhabi suggests a different dynamic may be at play.
Last month, Iran appointed a new envoy to the UAE, after having gone seven years without appointing an ambassador to the country.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.