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UAE and Saudi Arabia forge closer defence ties

Posted 7 December 2017 · Add Comment

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have formed a new alliance on a wide range of key areas including defence, political institutions and the economy.

It was agreed on the eve of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Kuwait, which was attended largely by ministers from the member countries, rather than heads of state, as usual.
According to Al Defeiyah a committee will coordinate all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries.
The creation of the alliance, and the scope of its remit, is a further sign of the ever closer ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
While the GCC has been a forum for Gulf Arab countries to pursue their common interests for nearly 40 years, there have been clear signs for some time that the UAE and Saudi are seeking to strengthen their relationship outside the GCC.
The new committee will promote “shared religious, historical, social and cultural ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia”, and “out of keenness to consolidate the fraternal relations between them”, according to the UAE news agency WAM.
It would to be chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, and Mohammed bin Salman, who has since taken a more active role in his country's affairs, after succeeding as Crown Prince in June, with wide scale reforms and a crackdown on corruption.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said there had been a “paradigm shift in bilateral ties” between the two countries.
Both the UAE and Saudi are also engaged in joint military action in Yemen, leading the fight against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, and with the war potentially entering a crucial stage following the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh this week, after the breakdown of his alliance with the Houthis.

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