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UAE, Saudi Arabia forge economic, military alliance

Saudi Arabia, December 6, 2017

UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched an economic and military partnership in a move that will bring the Gulf’s largest economies closer together on a wide range of areas including defence, political institutions and the economy.

The announcement came hours before the GCC was to hold its first summit since Riyadh and Abu Dhabi imposed a regional embargo on neighbouring Qatar, over its support for extremist organisations and its ties with Iran, thus triggering the oil-rich Gulf’s worst crisis in decades.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE president, said in a statement that a “joint co-operation committee” would be established to co-ordinate in “all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields”.

News of the Presidential decree formalising the arrangement came on the eve of the summit in Kuwait, which was attended largely by ministers from the member countries, rather than heads of state, as usual, reported The National.

From the UAE side, it will be chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said the Chairman of the Committee would decide on the appointment of its members from representatives of a number of federal and local government bodies and sectors in the country, it stated.

According to the resolution, the committee will co-ordinate between the two countries in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as others, in the interest of the two countries, said The National report.

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, it added.

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