US Secretary of State Antony Blinken apologized to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed during their meeting in Morocco last month, Axios reported on Thursday. Blinken’s gesture was apparently meant to fix the American-Emirati relationship after Washington’s response to January’s attack on the UAE by the Houthi rebels.
During the meeting, Blinken admitted that the Biden administration’s response to the attack was not prompt enough and said he was sorry, according to Axios sources.
“The Secretary made clear that we deeply value our partnership with the UAE and that we will continue to stand by our partners in the face of common threats,” an unnamed senior State Department official shared with Axios news site. However, he declined to comment on the private diplomatic exchange of his boss.
In January, Yemen’s Houthi rebels sent drones to attack the Emirati capital killing three and injuring six people. The rebels said that the strike came in retaliation for the UAE’s support of the international coalition bombing the war-torn country. The Saudi-led coalition responded with more airstrikes in Yemen killing at least 60 and injuring over a hundred people.
Washington condemned the attack on Abu Dhabi on the day it happened. “We will work with the UAE and international partners to hold [Houthis] accountable,” declared US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in an official statement. “Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory,” he added.