Politico quotes Nonresident Senior Fellow Richard LeBaron and Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba on US relations with Gulf leaders:
“We need to stop acting as if the only thing that matters is military power,” says Richard LeBaron, a former U.S. ambassador to Kuwait now with the Atlantic Council. “It is a strategic imperative that we connect with the people of the Middle East and stop worrying so much about their leaders.”
“It’s a conversation we welcome in private,” said UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, speaking at a May 6 Atlantic Council forum.
Otaiba noted that his country has joined a half-dozen military campaigns alongside the U.S., from Kosovo to Afghanistan to the war against ISIL.
“A country that doesn’t share your values fought with you six times,” Al Otaiba said. “We still don’t share your democratic values — but we are great partners.”