Fifteen months ago I stood in by this ghaf tree to introduce myself as the new US Ambassador to the UAE.
What an honor it’s been to serve in this role, and more importantly to get to know Emirati culture and society more personally. Now as my tenure as Ambassador comes to an end, I am grateful for the hospitality I have experienced in the UAE. My wife and I will carry with us the friendships we have made here – friendships to last a lifetime.
I said when I introduced myself that I was dedicated to bringing the US and UAE closer together, working hard to focus on goals and deliver results. But even I couldn’t have imagined the results that would come from our partnership in this short time.
Together we have launched the US-UAE Strategic Dialogue, where our two governments engage in a frank, open, honest, and dynamic conversation about our shared values and aspirations. I was deeply moved by the Emirati tradition of the majlis, and it’s my hope that our two countries can carry forward this bilateral majlis because there’s no telling how much more we can do together or how far our partnership can go.
As friends, the US and the UAE achieved the historic signing of the Abraham Accords. I applaud the courage and conviction of the UAE leadership to take this bold step forward to expand peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
We are also proud partners at Expo 2020, and I am thankful for the generosity of the UAE to ensure that the US Pavilion is part of the important work of connecting minds and creating the future on this global stage. At the US Pavilion we will celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of the future – and I hope to see you all there when it opens in October.
Our two countries also have weathered the storm of COVID-19 together as partners in scientific research, trade, and health policy. I pray for an end to this pandemic, and that we can emerge as a global community that commits to keeping one another safe and healthy.
It has been the honor of my life to serve as US Ambassador to the UAE, and I leave here with a great love for this country. It is a country where I know the United States will continue to build its relationship in the strongest possible way. The potential is amazing. Together we will bring greater peace and prosperity to the future.
Ambassador John Rakolta Jr.