Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council brings ties to new heights

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(Riyadh) – The Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council will bring the friendly ties between the two nations to new heights, especially their cooperation in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as in other areas.

In May 2016, both countries set up the council to consolidate the fraternal relations and to intensify bilateral cooperation through continuous consultation and coordination in many areas, and today, a joint vision for economic, developmental, and military integration through 44 strategic projects was revealed during the council’s first meeting.

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, issued a decree in December 2017 on the formation of a Joint Co-operation Committee, whose objectives were stated as being the consolidation of the existing strong bilateral ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and serving the common interests of both countries on enhancing cooperation on important regional and global issues.

The UAE has always been a champion of regional integration and cooperation, which was evident through the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at a summit conference of six Arabian peninsula states held in Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in May 1981. At the conference, the leaders of the states agreed to form the GCC with the basic objectives of promoting coordination, integration and inter-connection between member states in all fields in order to achieve unity between them.

The Council charter states that the mandate of the GCC is to deepen and strengthen the relations, links and areas of cooperation that already exist between their peoples in various fields, through such means as the formulation of similar regulations in economic and financial affairs; commerce, customs and communications; education and culture; social and health affairs; information and tourism and legislative and administrative affairs.

The Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, bringing together two important member countries of the GCC, will further advance the mission of the GCC by serving more effectively the peoples of the two nations and by bringing more prosperity to the region.

The Joint Coordination Council is chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense. It will lead the work to develop a common approach on various issues in the mutual interest of the two countries.

Last December’s presidential decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa specified that the committee’s members will be drawn from a number of federal and local government bodies and sectors in the country, covering many sectors of cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Committee is allocated all the powers necessary for carrying out and executing its work.

According to Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the Minister of Economy, there are already many economic and commercial indicators that will facilitate co-operation between the two countries.

In an interview with WAM in February, Al Mansouri noted that, according to a report from the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, Dhaman, their combined real GDP is expected to reach over 46 percent of the real GDP of all Arab countries between 2017 and 2018, compared to a 41 percent average for the years 2000-2016.

Al Mansouri also noted that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also responsible for almost 53 percent of the total foreign trade of Arab countries in terms of goods and services.

The minister further stated that Saudi Arabia is the second most important international destination for re-exported goods from the UAE, with a nine percent share while being the first in the Arab region with a 29 percent share, as well as 47 percent among GCC countries. With regards to imports, Saudi Arabia has a 45 percent share of the UAE’s imports from GCC countries, and 28 percent from Arab countries.

The Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council is expected to facilitate further development of this momentum, despite various challenges facing the region.