ABU DHABI, 7th June, 2018 (WAM) — The UAE and Saudi Arabia have raised their relations to unprecedented levels, through a joint vision of economic, development and military integration that involve 44 joint strategic projects.
These projects are part of their “The Strategy of Resolve,” which was planned over 12 months by 350 Emirati and Saudi officials from 139 government and military authorities.
The strategy continues the solid legacy of joint action between the two countries, in light of their unified vision to address Gulf, Arab and international issues.
Both countries share historic relations, strategic partnerships and common goals, which have helped to maintain Gulf and Arab national security.
The relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia were established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who aimed to consolidate and ingrain these relations in the minds of successive generations, so they can continue on the same path of coordination and cooperation on new developments and regional and international issues.
These bilateral relations, which are maintained by the efforts and support of the leadership of both countries and are the cornerstone of the social security of Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, and Arab countries, did not appear from nowhere, but they came from research and evidence on their historic relations and overall strategic partnership, as well as from their mutual trust and their efforts to cooperate and coordinate with other Arab countries, most notably Egypt.
The relationship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia has advanced significantly during the last decade and has become a model of an ideal relationship between Arab countries.
During the historic visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to the UAE on 3rd December, 2016, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said in a tweet on his official Twitter account that Saudi Arabia’s relations with the UAE have exceeded the ideal model of diplomatic relations and have fused together the two countries like bones. “We pray to Allah Almighty to protect this one body,” he added.
The UAE believes that Saudi Arabia is a central platform for projects that aim to unite the Arab countries, which was expressed by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during the same visit. “The UAE has always believed that Saudi Arabia is the centre of the Gulf and the Arab region, and its security and stability ensure the security and stability of the UAE and other GCC and Arab countries,” he said.
“Arab history will always remember the historic actions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his decisive and stern decisions to counter the attempts of foreign nations to interfere in the Arab region,” Sheikh Mohamed added.
The leadership of the two countries aim to further advance their relations, through the establishment of a joint higher committee in May 2014, chaired by their ministers of foreign affairs.
The committee formation represents progress in their relations and is implementing the strategic vision of their leadership, to achieve stability and face regional challenges.
The directives of the UAE and Saudi Arabia to establish a bilateral council represented progress in their relations, as it created a channel for direct communication. During the same month of 2016, they signed an agreement to establish the coordination council with the ultimate objective of doing consultation and coordination in the different issues of mutual interest. As per the agreement, the council is to meet on regular basis in the two counties respectively.
Following the establishment of the council, the “Determination Retreat,” was held over two sessions. The first session was held on 21st February, 2017, in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of over 150 government officials and many experts from the government and private sectors of both countries, who discussed the clauses of the signed agreement to establish the council and created a long-term roadmap to promote cooperation and integration.
The second session was held on 13th April, 2017, in Riyadh, in which the means of strengthening the integrated economic system of the two countries and finding innovative solutions to effectively utilise their current resources were discussed.
The relationship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia maintains the stability and peace of the region and the entire world, especially as their histories are full of initiatives that have helped to settle Arab differences and support Arab countries. They have also dealt with issues and developments by joining together to face their challenges, such as those concerning Yemen and Iran.
The positive impact of the UAE-Saudi Arabian partnership on the national security of Gulf countries is highlighted by their role in helping Bahrain deal with a plot in 2011, when they led GCC countries in sending the “Peninsula Shield Force” to Bahrain, based on existing security and defence agreements.
Both countries also played a pivotal role in preserving the stability of the GCC, which led to the decision taken by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt on the 5th June, 2017, to cut their diplomatic relations with Qatar.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are credited for revealing the role played by Iran in destabilising the security and stability of the region, which is confirmed by the outcomes of the Gulf-American and Islamic-American summits in Riyadh on May 2017.
The Arab Coalition in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the UAE and other countries in the region, represented a turning point in the history of the region, by restoring legitimacy to Yemen and defeating foreign schemes to control the country.
The creation of the Arab Coalition, mainly by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, was not a spur of the moment action by both countries, but it came as an outcome of their strong relations whose present and future directions are based on the vision of their wise leadership.
The two countries are also actively participating in the regional and international efforts for countering extremism and terrorism, such as the US-led international coalition against Daesh in 2014.
Tourism, one of their most promising sectors, also plays an important role in strengthening the commercial and economic ties between the two countries and provides investment opportunities and attracts joint projects to diversify their economies. The UAE has allocated considerable financial sums to develop this sector over the next ten years.
The cultural relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia reflect the geographical and social cohesion between their people, which was strengthened by various factors, most notably education. Emirati students have travelled to Saudi Arabia to study at schools in Makkah, Al Ahsa and Riyadh while many Saudi students are currently enrolled at UAE universities and academic institutions.