Readout of Secretary Hagel's Meeting with the United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:
During his first official trip to the Middle East, Secretary Chuck Hagel met with the United Arab Emirates' Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today in Abu Dhabi and reaffirmed the strong U.S. commitment to defense and security cooperation between the two countries. They underscored the deep and enduring partnership between the United States and the UAE.
In particular, they discussed the UAE's purchase of 25 F-16 Block 60 aircraft and the decision for the United States to release standoff weapons for sale for the defense of the UAE. The additional F-16s will increase both nations' interoperability and enhance their ability to perform joint and coalition security operations.
The secretary also expressed appreciation for the UAE's contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Libya.
The secretary and the crown prince concurred on the need to build on the already robust defense ties, which include bilateral exercises and training, and to expand cooperation in such areas as ballistic missile defense. Both agreed to hold regular bilateral defense consultations as a way to further coordinate growing activities.
The secretary and the crown prince also discussed a range of regional challenges, including the need for Iran to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear program, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and countering the threat of violent extremism.