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July 12, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10077

Emirati Academic Close To UAE President Tells President Biden On Eve Of Mideast Visit: You Must Recognize The Rising Status Of The Gulf States and Treat Them With Respect; 'The Time When The U.S. Ordered The World To Obey Has Passed'

July 12, 2022
United Arab Emirates | Special Dispatch No. 10077

In an article published on the eve of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the Middle East, Abd Al-Khaleq Abdallah, who is a researcher with the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C. and also considered to be close to UAE President Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, criticized the U.S.'s "haste" in "dashing" towards signing a nuclear agreement with Iran. Stressing that "Iran constitutes the gravest possible threat to the region's security and stability." He called on Biden to listen to the fears of the Gulf states "instead of pushing them to accept a nuclear agreement that would perpetuate Iranian hegemony."

The article, titled "A Letter from a UAE Academic to President Biden," was published by CNN Arabic on July 6, 2022.

The Gulf states, wrote Abdallah, have their own geopolitical interests and considerations, different from those of the U.S., including their aspiration to deepen and expand their ties with other world powers. If the U.S. does not respect this, he continued, the Gulf states will not be able to establish a strategic partnership with it. He went on to note that President Biden must realize that the Arab Gulf has changed: its new, young leaders are demanding a more balanced partnership with the U.S. and are unwilling to comply with every U.S. request, and added that from now on, the price that Biden would have to pay for the Gulf states' compliance with his request to step up oil production, will be U.S. respect for the Gulf states and their leaders and recognition of their importance in the new world order. He concluded by calling on Biden to spare his hosts discussion of human rights and democracy, since the shine is off the U.S.'s democracy, and such talk would be a waste of time for both sides.


Abd Al-Khaleq Abdallah (Source: Uae71.com, February 28, 2022)

The following is the translation of the main points of Abdallah's article:

"A Letter From A UAE Academic To President Biden

"Dear President Joe Biden,

"I am happy to welcome you on your first visit to the region... You are the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, and the president of the most important partner of the Arab Gulf states, which understand the importance of this partnership and are interested in continuing it, even strengthening it and leading it towards new and promising strategic horizons.

"Mr. President, the Arab Gulf states, as you surely realize, live alongside a difficult Iranian neighbor. [This neighbor] constitutes the gravest threat to the region's security and stability; it has a religious, revolutionary, expansionist agenda. It is working speedily to build mighty nuclear and ballistic capabilities; it is providing aid in the form of funds and weapons to terror militias that undermine the stability and security of the region and direct their terror activity at the Arab Gulf states. The issue of [the clause regarding the] tackling [of] Iran's activity is the most important of the issues [clauses] that are on the agenda of your visit to the countries of the region – all of whom share this concern in light of the U.S.'s dash towards Iran and its ill-considered haste to sign the nuclear agreement. The Arab Gulf states are [situated] closest to Iran, and they understand it better than others, certainly better than the U.S. If only you would listen carefully to the legitimate concerns of the Iranian expansion instead of pushing them to accept a nuclear agreement that would perpetuate Iranian hegemony and strengthen its plans to become the policeman of the Arab Gulf[!]

"Mr. President, you are coming to the region amidst a growing discourse about the U.S.'s reexamination of its presence in the Arab Gulf and its intention to withdraw from the Middle East so as to contend with the Russian threat and China's rising [power]. Doubtless this is a purely American matter, but it is important that the U.S. understand that the Gulf states also have their own national agenda and geopolitical priorities which differ from those of the U.S.; these include activity to diversify partnerships and deepen relations with the rising global forces.

"Honorable president, you must understand this future Gulf trend and respect it and not hinder its course or harness it in service of the American agenda, which does not coincide with the future agenda of the Gulf states. Without a deep American understanding of this Gulf trend, it will not be possible to establish a promising and balanced strategic partnership.

"Mr. President, it is time for the U.S. to come to terms with a new geopolitical fact – that is, that there is a new Arab Gulf which is certain of itself, its present, and its future [and] which understands how to utilize its oil, its gas, and its sovereign affairs for its own best national interests. The new Arab Gulf is the new center for the Arab decision-making, and it is [currently] enjoying its own historical moment. Therefore, we hope that you will review your basic assumptions and your outdated opinions regarding the Arab Gulf, because what your institutions, your intelligence [apparatuses], and your research institutes in Washington say is unconnected to the Gulf of the 21st century. These [bodies] have still not come to terms with the fact that this Arab Gulf is different from the Gulf of the 20th century. [Thus,] if you arrive with the mentality for contending with the old Arab Gulf, you are forewarned that your visit will be flawed and ineffective, and perhaps you had better stay in Washington.

"During your visit to the region, you will meet the new leaders of the Arab Gulf states, who are the same ages as your children – and some the same ages as your grandchildren. You will find that they will all welcome you warmly, but it might be best for you to understand that their world is different from yours, and that their faith in the U.S. was recently shaken and is no longer as great as it was for the generation of their fathers.

"The new leaders of the Arab Gulf are convinced that it is time for a different partnership, that is necessarily more balanced. Is the U.S. prepared to comply with the expectations and desires of the new leaders of the Arab Gulf, who have stressed that they are no longer willing to pacify the U.S. in each and every detail, and whose faith [in the U.S.] has harmed them, so that they are now definitely willing to say no to Washington? You may hear many noes from them during the meeting with them. I hope you will be ready for this.

"Mr. President, you will be arriving in the region at a time when Gulf petroleum and natural gas have already regained their prestige and their monetary and strategic value. The Arab Gulf is global petroleum's center of gravity, and will remain so for an unlimited time, and the U.S. and the world must reconcile themselves to this. In short, the Gulf's vital petroleum has become even more important, and is the real asset, because its monetary and strategic value, and [its value] in negotiations, has doubled in light of Europe's and Asia's increased dependence on Gulf oil and gas.

"The Arab Gulf states understand that it is this oil that is motivating you to visit the region. There is nothing wrong with you being more honest and acknowledging this, instead of camouflaging your visit in declarations that are sometimes contradictory and sometimes ridiculous, and that are unbecoming for the leader of a superpower. Perhaps the Arab Gulf states will want to agree to the American partner's request for increased oil production – but this comes with a price that the U.S. will have to pay. The most important price is that from now on you speak respectfully about the Arab Gulf states and their leaders, and that you recognize the importance of these states in the new world order. Do you have the right price up your sleeve?

"Mr. President, spare us the boring discourse about human rights and democracy. I ask that you not go too far and raise this issue; it is not the time, the place, nor the audience for it. This is because the U.S. is no longer convincing when it brings up this issue, since its democratic model has lost its shine in the face of social division and American political paralysis, and excessive violence fed by the emergence of extreme right-wing racism. Thus, Mr. President, you must understand that discourse on this matter wastes your time and the time of the Arab Gulf leaders. You will find no Gulf ears willing to listen to pointless discussions about human rights. 

"Mr. President, I only hope that you will put aside your Biden dogma and not link your visit to benefit for an Israeli agenda, because everyone knows that you are visiting the Arab Gulf because you have no alternative, and aren't coming as a hero or a [strong] ruler. Gone is the time when the U.S. issued an order and the world obeyed.

"In conclusion, I hope that the reflections of this Emirati academic will find their way into your heart and your mind, so that you can prepare yourself in advance to meet new Gulf leaders and a new Arab Gulf that aspires a Gulf-American partnership based on new foundations in line with the emergence of a new world order."[1]

 

[1] Arabic.cnn.com, July 6, 2022.

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