The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates has denied allegations in regional media regarding the issue that senior UAE leaders had discussed utilisation of targeted assassinations against the Taliban to improve prospects for U.S.-led negotiations with the Taliban.
“I was at Sh[iekh] Mohammad bin Zayed meeting with Secretary Pompeo [and I] can attest that the Al Jazeera English report on the Taliban “assassination” claim is fake news,” tweeted Anwar Gargash today, “Too many times Al Jazeera is the region’s source of fake news especially following Qatar’s crisis.”
A recent article in AlJazeera and other regional media outlets alleged that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was told by Mohammed Bin Zayed that UAE could hire unspecified “mercenaries” to kill “backward, bearded bad guys” to kill Taliban leaders.
The meeting took place months ago, and at the time no such allegations were made.
The recent allegations come at a time when United States government officials entered into extensive negotiations with the Taliban.
The United Arab Emirates was earlier involved in such negotiations but, recently the Taliban have signalled their preference to use Qatar as an intermediary which maybe attributed to UAE’s agreement to join a new NATO training mission to Afghanistan last year.
The United Arab Emirates has supported American foreign policy and the NATO mission in Afghanistan since 2001. In 2003, the United Arab Emirates joined the NATO mission and has deployed a host of soldiers from engineers to special forces operatives to assist the war on the Taliban.