Antony J. Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, met on Monday in Abu Dhabi with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, to discuss the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the need to prevent the Israel-Gaza war from spreading across the region, a State Department spokesman said.
Mr. Blinken emphasized the “continued U.S. commitment to securing lasting regional peace that ensures Israel’s security and advances the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” the spokesman, Matthew Miller, said in a statement.
The Biden administration has insisted that Israel help forge a realistic path to a Palestinian state, arguing that Israel’s yearslong security policy on the Palestinians appears to have failed, as seen by the scale of the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7. Establishing a Palestinian state is a longstanding policy goal of the United States, but efforts toward achieving it had ebbed since the Obama administration.
The two officials also spoke about the civil war in Sudan and “preventing further widespread civilian harm” there, Mr. Miller said.
The New York Times reported in September that the Emirates had been sending weapons to the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group that is battling the regular army in Sudan, bringing the arms into the country through a remote military air base across the border in Chad. Mr. Blinken said in December that the two warring armies and associated militias in Sudan were all committing war crimes.
The Emirates is one of the biggest buyers of American arms and is viewed by the U.S. government as a security partner, but the country and the Biden administration are at odds over several major security issues, including the Emirates’ role in the Sudan war and its efforts to forge important military and economic partnerships with China.
After his stop in the Emirates, Mr. Blinken flew to Saudi Arabia to see Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi ruler, at a luxury desert camp. Mr. Blinken and other aides of President Biden are seeking to revive discussions about Saudi Arabia moving to normal diplomatic relations with Israel, in the hopes that such a step might prod the Israelis to agree to work toward establishing a Palestinian state.
Mr. Blinken planned to make another visit to Israel after his stop in the Saudi desert.