UAE's Utilization of Foreign Think Tanks Against Rivals: Leaked Emails Reveal Close Ties and Agendas

UAE’s Utilization of Foreign Think Tanks Against Rivals: Leaked Emails Reveal Close Ties and Agendas

Recently leaked emails have shed light on the close relationship between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a pro-Israel think tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). These exchanges reveal a high level of cooperation and coordination between UAE officials and FDD members. This article explores how the UAE leverages think tanks, such as FDD, to further its interests and influence US foreign policy in the region, particularly in its dealings with rivals like Iran and Qatar.

Building Ties with FDD:

The leaked emails expose the extensive contact between UAE envoy Yousef al-Otaiba and FDD representatives, including CEO Mark Dubowitz and senior counselor John Hannah. Notably, FDD is funded by pro-Israel businessman Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Despite the UAE not recognizing Israel officially, the two entities have collaborated in the past against their common rival, Iran.

Forthcoming Meeting and Agenda:

The emails reveal details of a forthcoming meeting between FDD and UAE government officials, scheduled for June. Key attendees include Mark Dubowitz, John Hannah, and FDD’s vice president for research, Jonathan Schanzer. UAE officials have requested a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince who commands the armed forces. The agenda includes discussions on topics such as Al Jazeera’s influence and potential policies to impact Iran’s internal situation.

Encouraging Pressure on Iran:

In one email, Mark Dubowitz shares a list of companies that invest in both Iran and the UAE, seemingly urging the Emirati government to apply pressure on these companies to choose sides. Additionally, a prior email exchange implicates the UAE and FDD in an alleged attempted military coup in Turkey.

Cooperation on Regional Issues:

The UAE has collaborated closely with FDD to address regional issues, including Qatar’s hosting of a Hamas meeting at an Emirati-owned hotel. This exchange indicates the UAE’s involvement in regional matters and its efforts to counter Qatar’s influence.

Support for Saudi Arabia:

The leaked emails also include UAE envoy Otaiba’s praise for changes in Saudi Arabia and support for Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. These communications highlight the UAE’s interests in promoting certain leadership changes within the Gulf region.

Implications of the Leaks:

The leaks raise questions about the UAE’s use of think tanks to advance its agenda and influence US foreign policy. They also shed light on the close relationship between UAE officials and influential figures in Washington DC, including Jared Kushner and former US government officials.

The leaked emails provide valuable insights into the UAE’s strategies for influencing US foreign policy through close ties with foreign think tanks like FDD. By leveraging these connections, the UAE aims to advance its interests and exert influence over regional rivals, such as Iran and Qatar. The revelations highlight the need for increased scrutiny of think tank funding and the importance of transparency in shaping foreign policy decisions.

Gallagher Group LLC Previous post Profile: Gallagher Group LLC
MHP Communications Next post Profile: MHP Communications