A U.S. delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, the Honourable Frank A Rose, met with their counterparts from the United Arab Emirates, led by H.E. Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, for the second UAE-U.S. Space Security Dialogue held in Abu Dhabi on 3 November 2016.
The Space Security Dialogue is a diplomatic initiative of the United States that aims to hold regular government-to-government dialogues with allied and friendly governments on emerging threats to space systems, other space security issues such as space debris, and space security diplomatic efforts.
The dialogue in Abu Dhabi included briefings and exchanges of views on threats to space systems, updates on U.S. and UAE space programmes and cooperative efforts, and discussions on diplomatic initiatives to decrease tensions and threats in the space domain and ensure the long-term sustainable use of outer space by all countries.
As well as developing a robust civil space programme, and possessing a thriving commercial space sector, the UAE also has significant national security space interests. The UAE Armed Forces are an advanced military equipped with the latest Western-made military hardware, and as a result the UAE is increasingly reliant on satellite systems for command and control, positioning, navigation, and timing, for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and strategic early warning. The UAE Armed Forces have a fifteen year lease on the Yahsat-1A communications satellite, and have two high-resolution reconnaissance satellites, known as Falcon Eye, on order from Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space.
Space security issues, therefore, are of increasing importance to Abu Dhabi.
Assistant Secretary Rose and his delegation travel next to Israel for discussions on a range of security and arms control issues, to include a Space Security Dialogue with Israeli officials, on 5-7 November 2016.