Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to boost ties between the two countries, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Wednesday.
The meeting, held at the presidential palace in Moscow, was also aimed to tackle the latest developments in the region.
According to WAM, Sheikh Mohammed emphasized on the eagerness of Abu Dhabi “to build a stronger cooperation, scientific, economic, trade and investment partnership with the Federal Republic of Russia based on mutual respect, cooperation and continuous coordination to achieve our joint strategic interests.”
The UAE is a strong ally to the United States and Western powers, and like its allies it opposes Iran’s foreign policy in the region. However, Iran is a strong ally to Russia, and both countries are supporting Syria, a country that has lost legitimacy in the eye of many Western countries and their allies including the UAE.
Russia views Syria as its last major Middle East outpost and has most recently refused to condemn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime’s atrocities against its civilians.
The news agency did not report of any official statements made by Sheikh Mohammed and Putin during their meeting discussing the latest developments in the region especially Syria.
The UAE-Russia talks also comes after Iraq signed contracts worth $4.2 billion in weapons from Moscow according to a document issued on Tuesday at a meeting between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is increasingly seen as pro-Iran, intends to use his visit to wean off his nation’s overwhelming dependence on U.S. weapons and technology.