Biden’s apology tour: First Turkey, now UAE

Biden’s apology tour: First Turkey, now UAE

Vice President Joe Biden apologized to the United Arab Emirates Sunday for charging that the oil-rich ally had been supporting al Qaida and other jihadi groups in Syria’s internal war, his second apology in as many days to a key participant in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State extremists.

The White House said Biden telephoned Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi to say that his recent remarks “regarding the early stages” of the conflict in Syria “were not meant to imply that the Emirates had facilitated or supported” the Islamic State, al Qaida or other extremist groups in Syria.

But his apology, one day after expressing similar regrets to Turkey, left open whether the Emirates had supported the rise of al Qaida during the early stages of the war in Syria.

Biden was answering questions at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Thursday when he veered off the official talking points to declare, “Our allies in the region were our largest problem” in preventing the spread of al Qaida in Syria.

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