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UAE Says Shocked By US Vice President’s Comments On Terror Financing

UAE Says Shocked By US Vice President’s Comments On Terror Financing

Joe Biden said that the Middle East had provided money and weapons to Al Nusra and Al Qaeda.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that it is “astonished” at the statement made by US Vice President Joseph Biden regarding the funding of terrorists by Middle Eastern countries, including US allies.

In an address to Harvard University students on Thursday, Biden said countries in the Middle East were completely focused on toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad,” Biden said. “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.”

Biden’s remarks 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 recognising the dangers, including the danger of financing terrorism and terrorist groups,” official news agency WAM quoted Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash as saying.

The statement gave “a negative and inaccurate impression about the UAE and its track record”, particularly during the current political and practical support that the UAE is giving to the US and its allies in combating Islamic State, he said.

Gargash also called for a formal clarification of Biden’s comments, and added that they ignored the steps taken by the UAE, as well as its “clearly announced position” in the past about financing terrorism.

“The UAE’s counter-terrorism approach reflects a pioneering national commitment that recognises the extent of the danger posed by terrorism to the region and to its people,” he added.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are among Arab countries that joined the US in conducting airstrikes over IS strongholds in Syria last month.

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