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Tags: uae | saudi arabia | brittney griner | russia | biden

Saudis, UAE Say They Mediated Griner Swap

By    |   Thursday, 08 December 2022 11:31 AM EST

Leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia met to discuss the release of U.S. WNBA star Brittney Griner from a penal colony in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to a Thursday statement published by the Saudi state news agency.

"This reflects how the Biden administration has had almost no diplomatic contacts with Russia for most of this year: A bad sign," Fred Fleitz, America First Policy Institute senior fellow and former White House National Security Council chief of staff, told Newsmax on Thursday.

After her release by Russian authorities, Griner flew a private jet from Moscow, and Bout was taken from Washington, according to the statement. The two ended up in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, where they were handed over to Emirati and Saudi officials before repatriation.

"The success of the mediation efforts is a reflection of the firm friendship that binds the two countries to the United States of America and the Russian Federation, and the important role played by the leadership of the two brotherly countries to promote dialogue between all parties," the statement said.

Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have faced intense scrutiny by the West for not taking a firmer stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After OPEC+ cut oil production in October, the Biden administration accused the group — which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia — of taking sides with the Kremlin.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE support negotiations and keeping communication open with Russia to help end the war. Prince Mohammed played a crucial role in the months leading up to the release in September of British and American detainees captured by Russia in Ukraine — an effort led by Turkey that freed some 250 prisoners.

Sheikh Mohammed spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, according to the Emirati state news agency. They met in St. Petersburg in October.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia met to discuss the release of U.S. WNBA star Brittney Griner from a penal colony in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to a Thursday statement published by the Saudi state news agency.
uae, saudi arabia, brittney griner, russia, biden
323
2022-31-08
Thursday, 08 December 2022 11:31 AM
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