- After the death of the brothers, a de facto ruler was elected president
- MbZ has set a new axis with Israel for Iran and Muslims
- Perhaps the “most savvy” ruler of the Gulf, Obama wrote
Dubai, May 14 (Reuters)-United Arab Emirates influential Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan was officially elected president on Saturday, leading the reorganization of the Middle East and new with Israel. Political Islamic areas of the region that created an anti-Iranian axis and fought the uptrend.
Sheikh Mohammed, 61, who worked behind the scenes for years as a de facto leader, turned the UAE army into a high-tech unit, coupled with its oil wealth and business hub status, the influence of Emirati. Has expanded internationally.
Mohammed began exercising power when his half-brother, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, who died on Friday, suffered a bout of illness, including a stroke, in 2014.
Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com
MbZ, as he knows, the Gulf Arab rulers are no longer their main supporters, according to a former U.S. envoy of the United Arab Emirates, Barbara Reef, especially after Washington abandoned Egypt. Driven by the “certain deadly idea” of not being able to rely on the 2011 Arab Spring Hosneem Barak.
The “most familiar” bay leader of MbZ.
US State Department officials in the Biden administration, who have had close ties with the UAE in recent months, said he was a strategist who brought a historical perspective to the debate.
“He will not only talk about the present, but will go back years, decades, and in some cases, trends over time,” officials said.
MbZ supports the 2013 military expulsion of Egypt’s elected Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Mursi, with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman taking power in a 2017 palace coup, the only Washington can deal with Advertised him as a person in the palace. Climb the kingdom.
Encouraged by a warm relationship with then-US President Donald Trump, the two Gulf hawks are adjoining to support the Muslim Brotherhood by lobbying for Washington’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran. The Houthis has launched a costly war to boycott Qatar and try to break the grip of Yemen’s Iranian alliance.
The United Arab Emirates also broke decades of Arab consensus by establishing a relationship with Israel with Bahrain in 2020 in a U.S.-mediated deal known as the Abraham Agreement that caused Palestine’s wrath. , Was involved in a conflict from Somalia to Libya and Sudan.
One diplomat said the deal was driven by common concerns about Iran, but also noticed the benefits to the UAE economy and the malaise of “listening” Palestinian leaders.
While diplomats and analysts see partnerships with Riyadh and Washington as pillars of their UAE strategy, MbZ does not hesitate to act independently for profit or financial reasons.
The Ukrainian crisis exposed tensions with Washington when the United Arab Emirates abstained from a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s invasion. As a producer of OPEC, along with oil giant Riyadh, the UAE also rejected the Western call for more pumps.
Abu Dhabi ignored other US concerns by arming and supporting Libya’s Khalifa Haftar against an internationally recognized government and engaging with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
In Riyadh, the biggest difference was made when the UAE withdrew significantly from Yemen, as an unpopular war that killed more than 100 Emiratis fell into a stalemate in the army.
Abu Dhabi organized a 2019 coup against him when Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir rejected his promise to abandon his Muslim allies.
Forefront of stability
Although he says he was attracted to their Islamic ideology when he was young, MbZ assembled the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the greatest threats to stability in the Middle East.
Like Saudi Arabia, the UAE has accused it of betraying the Brotherhood after protecting members persecuted in Egypt in the 1960s.
According to WikiLeaks, in a 2007 meeting with US officials, “I am an Arab, a Muslim, and praying. From the 1970s to the early 1980s, I was one of them. I believe people have an agenda. ” ..
Sheikh Mohammed’s distrust of Muslims, educated at the Armed Forces College in the United Arab Emirates and Sandhurst, England, was caused by two of his compatriots in 2001 during the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Raised when he was one of the 19 hijackers.
“He looked around and saw that many of the younger generation in the region were very attracted to Osama bin Laden’s anti-Western mantra,” another diplomat said. “As he once told me,’If they can do it to you, they can do it to us.'”
Despite years of hostility, the MbZ chose to engage Iran and Turkey as COVID-19, intensifying economic competition with Saudi Arabia focused on development, and further liberalized the UAE while curbing political objections. Promoted towards.
MbZ was seen as a human being of modernization at home and charismatic people from many diplomats, holding the UAE’s oil wealth by spurring the development of energy, infrastructure and technology. He enthusiastically promoted Abu Dhabi, which was previously unobtrusive.
According to experts, as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Army, he has transformed the United Arab Emirates army into one of the most effective in the Arab world.
“He doesn’t hit around the bushes … he wants to know not only what’s working, but what’s not working,” said a source accessible to Sheikh Mohammed. Told.
Sign up now for unlimited free access to Reuters.com
Report by Dubai Bureau; Written by Ghaida Ghantous; Edited by William McLean, Dominique Evans, John Boyle
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters trusts the principles.