Today in Middle East detente: The UAE and Iran turn over a new leaf
The UAE and Iran work to restore ties: The UAE’s national security chief held talks with the Iranian president in Tehran yesterday in the first official visit by an Emirati official to the country in almost 10 years. Ali Shamkani, Tehran’s top national security official, said Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed’s visit could open “a new chapter” in bilateral ties. This comes less than two weeks after the UAE took a large step to repairing ties with Turkey, in a visit during which the two signed agreements for bns of USD of investments. (Financial Times)
US government boycotts Beijing Olympics: The Biden administration will not be sending any government officials to the February 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, US Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing yesterday. China earlier threatened to retaliate should the US implement the “diplomatic boycott,” which aims to pressure the country over human rights abuses. Canada has also said it is considering a boycott, but has yet to make a decision.
Chinese military power is reaching the Atlantic, and the US isn’t happy: China is looking to establish its first permanent military base on Africa’s Atlantic Coast in Equatorial Guinea, triggering concern in Washington which is now trying to persuade the country’s president to reject the proposal. (Wall Street Journal)