UAE surprised at Biden's remarks, asks for clarification

A surprised UAE has asked US Vice President Joe Biden to clarify his statement after he suggested that America's Middle Eastern allies were partly to blame for aiding the Islamic State militant group.

Dubai: A surprised UAE has asked US Vice President Joe Biden to clarify his statement after he suggested that America's Middle Eastern allies were partly to blame for aiding the Islamic State militant group.

UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its astonishment at Biden's remarks on the financing of terrorism.

Biden's remarks were "far from the truth, especially with relation to the UAE's role in confronting extremism and terrorism," said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash.

The US Vice President's statement ignored the steps and the effective measures taken by the UAE, Gargash said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

Gargash asked Biden to clarify the statement he made last week during an appearance at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Biden spoke about Turkey, the UAE, other Middle Eastern allies, and the threat posed by the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Biden had said the IS had been inadvertently strengthened by actions allies took to help opposition groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The US Vice President has since apologised to Turkey over the comments. The apology came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's furious reaction to Biden's comments.

The UAE is among America's handful of Arab allies taking part in the US-led airstrikes against the ruthless IS, which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Gargash said: "The UAE's counter-terrorism approach reflects a pioneering national commitment that recognises the extent of the danger posed by terrorism to the region and to its people."

 

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