The vice president will use the trip to try to repair the increasingly frosty relationship with a key Mideast ally.
Following the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the United Arab Emirates with a delegation reported to include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, CIA director Bill Burns, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
They will “offer condolences on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration and the American people on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Harris’s press secretary said in a statement.
In an earlier statement, President Biden congratulated the new president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, after his election by the Federal Supreme Council of the UAE.
Biden referred to him as a “longtime friend”, however, the relationship between the two countries has been undeniably stressed under the Biden administration.
The UAE does not support Biden’s efforts to revitalize the Iran nuclear deal with arguably worse terms than the agreement originally put in place by the Obama administration.
It also felt snubbed by Washington’s refusal to supply it with new F-35 fighter jets and Biden’s objection to what it calls “sovereign Emirati decisions”.
Most recently, the UAE refused to take calls from Biden as he sought to pressure the country into increasing its oil production as the price per barrel rocketed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.