Sunday, October 5, 2014

UAE ‘astonished’ at Biden’s claim it backed extremists

The United Emirates has expressed “astonishment” after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made comments suggested that the Gulf state and other regional powers had financed extremist groups in Syria, its state-run news agency reported Sunday.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash said he was surprised by Biden’s remarks “which are far from the truth, especially with relation to the UAE’s role in confronting extremism and terrorism and its clear and advanced position in recognizing the dangers, including the danger of financing terrorism and terrorist groups.”

He called for a “formal clarification” of Biden’s statement, according to the report.
The UAE is one of a handful of Arab allies taking part in U.S.-led air strikes against ISIS in Syria.
The others are Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
Biden has already apologized to Turkey over the comments suggesting that it was one of the countries in the region that had armed and financed ISIS in Syria.

“The vice president apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria,” Biden’s office said on Saturday, using a common acronym for the ISIS group.

It came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted furiously at comments Biden made at Harvard University on Thursday in which he criticized allies in Turkey and the Arab world for supporting Sunni militant groups in Syria, including ISIS/ISIL and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

(With AFP)

                                                        *** Friends of Syria


  1. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden apologized to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for comments suggesting that the Gulf country and other regional powers had financed extremist groups in Syria, the UAE state news agency WAM reported...

    “The United States appreciates the historic role of the United Arab Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism and its advanced position in this regards,” Biden reportedly told General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces..............

  2. US vice president Joe Biden on Sunday called the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates to clarify that he did not mean to imply in his remarks last week that the Gulf ally was supporting al-Qaida fighters in Syria, the White House said....

    Biden spoke with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a key Emirati leader, the White House said.

    It was the second time in two days that Biden had to call a key partner in President Barack Obama's coalition to walk back comments he made on Thursday, when he said that US allies — including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — had funded and armed extremist groups linked to al-Qaida.

    Earlier Sunday, an exasperated UAE requested "a formal clarification" from Biden on comments that America's allies in the Middle East sent weapons and cash to extremists fighting in Syria.

    The White House said Biden clarified his remarks and recognized the UAE's "strong steps" to counter extremists and participation in US-led airstrikes against Islamic State militants. The White House statement said Biden's remarks regarding the early stages of the Syrian civil war "were not meant to imply that the UAE had facilitated or supported" al-Qaida, the Islamic State group or other extremists in Syria.............

  3. Biden’s admission: US allies armed ISIS....

    Speaking to students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Forum Thursday, US Vice President Joseph Biden committed what the US media characterizes as a “gaffe.” In other words, he told an embarrassing truth about US government policy, one that is usually obfuscated in the remarks of government officials and the commentaries of media pundits.

    Asked about US policy in Syria, Biden touched on the dirty secret of the current US-led war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. ISIS (or ISIL as the Obama administration terms it) is essentially the creation of the United States and its allies who fomented civil war in Syria against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Referring to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Biden said, “They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad—except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

    “Now you think I’m exaggerating,” he continued, to emphasize his point. “Take a look! Where did all of this go?” Biden claimed that the US opposed arming these al Qaeda-linked groups, which included ISIS, adding, “We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”

    According to Biden’s narrative, only in the summer of 2014 did these countries realize that ISIS was a threat to them as well as to Assad, and shifted, joining in the US campaign of air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. He gave as an example the position of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, suggesting that he had admitted the error of a permissive policy towards the extremists: “President Erdogan told me, he is an old friend, said you were right, we let too many people through, now we are trying to seal the border.”

    It is testament to the degeneracy of the American political system that the circumstances behind ISIS’s rise, alluded to in Biden’s remarks, have not been the subject of any investigation. There have been no calls in Congress for hearings to examine the origins of an organization whose actions have been seized on to proclaim a new war in the Middle East.......................

  4. Russia and its partners in the UN Security Council are pressing for effective measures to plug the loopholes being used for financing terrorist groups like the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday...

    “Neither the Islamic State nor al-Qaeda, nor the so called Islamic Front, nor Jabhat al-Nusra would have been able to do what they have been doing without external support. This is clear to all,” Lavrov said. “Together with our partners, including those in the UN Security Council, we are pressing for effective steps to plug the loopholes for the financial and material support for these terrorist organizations," he stressed.

    Lavrov recalled the corresponding UN Security Council resolution on the impermissibility of trafficking militants and weapons. “Just recently a resolution was adopted at our initiative to prohibit deriving incomes from trade in oil produced in the territories of Iraq and Syria that are under the terrorists’ control,” he said.

  5. NATO says will take action to protect Turkey if needed ...

    The NATO military alliance has the option of moving land troops into Turkey if that proves necessary to protect Turkish security in the face of attacks from Islamic State, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

    Stoltenberg, speaking through a translator at a news conference during a visit to Poland, also said NATO was very concerned at the large number of violations the alliance had observed of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.


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