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UAE-Saudi council to help counter regional threats

The UAE-Saudi Strategy of Resolve announced on Wednesday by leaders of the two countries will tilt the regional balance of power in favour of the two countries, analysts said Thursday.

“The UAE-Saudi Arabia alliance with its economic, military, political and strategic power will tilt the regional balance of power towards the two countries as it will create a greater military power to defend countries of the region against any potential threats,” Mohammad Al Asoomi, a UAE economic expert and specialist in economic and social development in the UAE and the GCC countries, told Gulf News.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have announced a joint vision for economic, developmental and military integration through 44 joint strategic projects.

 We have a historic opportunity to create an exceptional Arab model of cooperation. Our solidarity and unity protect our interest, strengthen our economies and build a better future for our people. We are the two largest Arab economies, forming the two most modern armed forces. The economies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE represent a gross domestic product of one trillion dollars, our joint exports rank fourth globally and amount to $750 billion, plus Dh150 billion annually invested in infrastructure projects, which generates huge opportunities for bilateral cooperation.”

 – His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan | Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces 

A total of 350 government officials from different fields prepared “The Strategy of Resolve” within 12 months.

The strategy outlines three main areas of cooperation: economic, human and knowledge, and the political, and security and military.

The announcement of the strategy came during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Highness Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Chairman of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development.

Prince Mohammad Bin Salman greets Shamma Suhail Faris Al Mazroui, UAE’s Minister of State for Youth following the meeting of the of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah. WAM

Al Asoomi said the alliance is also a great turning point in terms of economic development, especially as it involves future economy projects, renewable energy funds and huge oil, gas and petrochemicals investments.

The two countries have demonstrated unprecedented determination to implement these strategic projects and set a timeframe of 60 months to implement them with the aim to beuild an exceptional model for the Gulf Cooperation Council, he added.

“The strategy not only protects the interests of both countries but also benefits the entire region,” Al Asoomi said.

Mohammad Al Hammadi, the Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic daily Al Etihad, said the council gives the Arab world hope to overcome the “great challenges” it faces.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed during a meeting with Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at the Royal Court in Riyadh. Present are Shaikh Zayed Bin Hamdan nin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, and Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. WAM

“The alliance is a model of creative and constructive bilateral cooperation between two great powers who are employing all their enormous resources, both human and material, to promote prosperity and cope with challenges of tomorrow,” Al Hammadi said.

“This great cooperation, developed by the wise leadership of the two countries, is not only aimed at achieving the interests of the two brotherly peoples, but also aims at supporting and protecting the Arab regional system from the fragmentation of the forces of evil.

A number of joint projects were announced, including a unified strategy for food security, a unified plan for medical stocks, a common supply security system and joint investment in oil, gas and petrochemicals.

The Strategy of Resolve also includes a plan to establish an agricultural investment company with a capital of Dh5 billion, a joint venture fund for renewable energy and a third investment fund for small and medium enterprises.

The strategy will also facilitate the flow of traffic in ports, build a unified industrial database, empower the banking sector in both countries, harmonise economic procedures and legislations and create a joint council to coordinate foreign investments.

The areas of cooperation identified by the Strategy of Resolve also include security and military cooperation and integration, coordination of foreign military assistance and standardisation in the military industry sector.

The two sides will work during the coming period on activating the joint manufacturing industries, implementing the electric linkage project, launching joint housing and financing services and solutions, establishing a joint centre for the development of desalination technologies, cooperation in the management of infrastructure projects, and cooperate in the development of modern financial technology.

Powerful economies

The two countries’ economies are worth one trillion dollars–the largest in the Middle East — and their exports make them one of the top 10 exports in the world, with a value of more than $700 billion.

The volume of non-oil trade between the two countries is worth $24 billion, while imports totalled nearly $550 billion.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia share a solid political and economic partnership, with a deep heritage and deep-rooted ties between the people of the two countries.

The establishment of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council aims to maintain and further enhance these ties.


TIMELINE: UAE-SAUDI ARABIA RELATIONS

1975 Saudi Arabia and the UAE sign an agreement resolving a long border dispute between the two countries.

26/6/1979 UAE President Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan leaves for Saudi Arabia on a 2-day official visit on the invitation of the Saudi King to attend the annual military manoeuvres of the Saudi Armed Forces, which take place in Abaha.

22/12/1979 Shaikh Zayed arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz.

20/3/1980 Shaikh Zayed and Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler, return from a brief private visit to Saudi Arabia, where they held talks with King Khalid and watched the Sixth Annual Saudi Grand Camel Race.

15/11/1983 Lt-Gen Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrives in Saudi Arabia on a 5-day visit on the invitation of Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, crowning the two countries’ effort for a better Gulf future and more effective Arab unity.

12/5/1985 Shaikh Zayed arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz on further strengthening the brotherly ties between the two countries.

23/4/1991 Shaikh Zayed meets King Fahd as part of a Gulf tour and exchanges views on the situation in the Gulf after the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation. 

26/9/1992 Shaikh Zayed arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Fahd on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

20/6/1999 The UAE welcomes the end of its row with Saudi Arabia over rapprochement between Gulf Arab states and Iran, but says it is unclear if Tehran would bow to pressure to settle a territorial dispute in the Gulf.

22/4/2000 King Fahd decorates Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed with the First Degree Order of King Abdul Aziz.

12/12/2004 President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan returns to Abu Dhabi after a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia. During the visit, he performed Umrah and met King Fahd. 

21/9/2006 Shaikh Khalifa holds talks with Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and reviews bilateral relations, particularly in the economic, trade and investment areas.

14/5/2007 The UAE is the biggest investor in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, with the value of joint projects touching 22 billion Saudi riyals (around Dh22 billion), according to Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
2009 Saudi Arabia and the UAE reach agreement on ending the truck crisis at the border.

8/3/2014 The UAE commends Saudi Arabia’s decision to name a number of organisations, including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, on its terrorism list.

16/6/2014 The UAE and Saudi Arabia sign green energy pact. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlights the agreement’s important role in strengthening the strategic relationship between the two countries.

23/7/2014 The UAE and Saudi Arabia are at the forefront of a growing GCC energy sector, with both countries accounting for 70 per cent of the $2.5-billion (Dh9.2-billion) regional market value in 2013, according to global consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan.

16/5/2016 The UAE and Saudi Arabia set up a joint council to coordinate efforts and bolster ties. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz witness an MoU signing at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah.

21/10/2016 Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed holds talks with King Salman during a visit to Riyadh on ways to enhance bilateral ties and they exchange views on regional and international developments.

3/12/2016 King Salman arrives in Abu Dhabi on an official visit to the UAE. He was welcomed by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed. 

21/2/2017 The UAE and Saudi Arabia hold a high-profile meeting in Abu Dhabi, called ‘the Retreat of Resolve’, an initiative of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council aimed at integrating economic and political capabilities of the UAE and Saudi Arabia. 

11/10/2017 The UAE and Saudi Arabia sign an MoU during the UAE-Saudi Business Forum 2017 in Abu Dhabi to boost investment and trade ties.

13/12/2017 The Central Bank of the UAE undertakes a joint project with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama) to use blockchain technology to issue a digital currency accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries.

14/01/2018 The Dh5.3-billion UAE-Saudi highway upgrade eases congestion on the Mafraq-Ghuwaifat highway, the main route that connects the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

12/03/2018 Cross-border rail links between the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be established by the end of December 2021. People and businesses of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will be linked by then through 2,100 kilometres of rail tracks that will unite as never before.

06/06/2018 Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Mohammad Bin Salman chair the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah.

Source: Gulf News

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