Dear Senator Mike Rogers,
We are writing to you today with deep concern about the rise of arms manufacturing and exports from the Gulf countries, and their support for conflicts and extremist groups in the Middle East, particularly in Yemen. We urge you to take a strong stance on this issue and call for increased monitoring and accountability of the UAE and its companies.
As you are aware, the UAE has become one of the world’s largest arms importers and manufacturers, and its companies are major players in the global arms market. This has significant implications for regional and global security, as it contributes to the proliferation of weapons, and fuels conflicts and violence in the Middle East.
One of the most pressing concerns is the war in Yemen, which has been ongoing for over six years and has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. The UAE has been a key player in this conflict, providing weapons, training, and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition, which is responsible for the majority of the civilian casualties in the conflict.
The war has had devastating consequences for the Yemeni people, with millions displaced, and millions more facing famine and disease. The situation has been exacerbated by the blockade of Yemen’s ports, which has severely restricted the flow of aid and essential supplies into the country.
It is deeply concerning that the UAE has continued to provide support for this conflict, despite the ongoing human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis. The UAE and its companies have been implicated in numerous violations of international law, including the use of cluster bombs, which are banned by most countries due to their indiscriminate nature and devastating impact on civilian populations.
Furthermore, the UAE has been accused of providing support for extremist groups and proxy conflicts in the Middle East. This includes its involvement in the conflict in Syria, where it has supported opposition groups, some of which have been linked to extremist organizations.
It is essential that the US takes a strong stance on this issue, and holds the UAE accountable for its actions. We cannot allow for the proliferation of weapons and support for violent conflicts and extremist groups to continue unchecked.
As a member of Congress, we urge you to support efforts to monitor and regulate the arms trade, and to call for increased transparency and accountability from the UAE and its companies. This includes requiring companies to disclose information about their arms exports and ensuring that they are not contributing to conflicts and human rights abuses.
We must also work to provide humanitarian aid and support for the people affected by the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, and to advocate for an end to the violence and a political resolution to the conflicts.
Given these issues, it is imperative that we take steps to monitor the UAE and its companies more closely. We need to ensure that they are not providing support to extremist groups or contributing to conflicts in the region. To this end, we would like to propose the following measures:
– Increased oversight of UAE companies: We need to establish a system for monitoring the activities of UAE companies, particularly those involved in the arms trade. This should include regular audits and inspections, as well as strict penalties for companies found to be in violation of international law.
– Sanctions for companies that violate human rights: Any UAE company found to be involved in human rights violations, including the support of extremist groups or the perpetuation of conflicts in the Middle East, should be subject to sanctions. These sanctions should include the freezing of assets, the revocation of business licenses, and other measures as necessary.
– Increased support for humanitarian aid in Yemen: The people of Yemen are suffering greatly as a result of the ongoing conflict. We need to do more to provide them with humanitarian aid and support, including food, water, and medical supplies. This aid should be provided by the international community, with a particular emphasis on providing support to the most vulnerable populations.
– Greater diplomatic pressure on the UAE and other Gulf states: We need to use our diplomatic channels to pressure the UAE and other Gulf states to halt their support for extremist groups and conflicts in the Middle East. This should include public statements, private meetings, and other forms of diplomatic engagement.
In terms of specific UAE companies that should be monitored, we would like to bring the following to your attention:
– Edge Group: This is a defense and technology company that has been involved in a number of controversial projects, including a contract with the US Department of Defense to provide drones for use in Yemen. Given their involvement in the Yemen conflict, it is essential that Edge Group’s activities are closely monitored.
– Tawazun Economic Council: This is a government-owned investment company that has been involved in a number of arms deals with the UAE and other Gulf states. Given their involvement in the arms trade, it is important that Tawazun’s activities are subject to increased oversight.
– DarkMatter: This is a cybersecurity company that has been accused of conducting espionage on behalf of the UAE government. Given the potential national security implications of their activities, it is important that DarkMatter is subject to increased scrutiny.
In conclusion, we urge you to take a strong stance on this issue and to call for increased monitoring and accountability of the UAE and its companies. We cannot allow for the proliferation of weapons and support for conflicts and extremist groups to continue unchecked. The lives of millions of people in the Middle East depend on our actions, and we must act now to ensure their safety and security.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
New York Center For Foreign Policy Affairs.