Abu Dhabi : Ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia are based on mutual social and political foundations, further reflected in their direct political convergence, Turki Bin Abdullah Al Dakheel, Saudi Ambassador to the UAE, has stated.

During his speech delivered yesterday at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, ECSSR, entitled, ‘Saudi-Emirati Ties in Light of Mutual Challenges’, Al Dakheel said that the political convergence between the two countries has been obvious since the 1960s, especially on occasions such as their joint support for Egypt in the war of 1973, the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, their joint stance on various events in some Arab countries in 2011, and their participation in the alliance to support legitimacy in Yemen.

He added their ties were crowned by the launch of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, which first met on June 7, 2018, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The second meeting of the council’s executive committee was held in Abu Dhabi on January 17, 2019, to monitor the implementation of joint strategic projects.

Al Dakheel pointed out that the work of the Arab Alliance, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, was highlighted by their participation in Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen, as well as their efforts to reinforce Yemen’s national sovereignty and support its legitimacy.

On the economic front, Saudi investments in the UAE exceeded Dh35 billion while the number of Emirati projects in Saudi Arabia amounts to around 114. There are currently 206 Saudi projects launched in the UAE while some 23,000 Saudi companies and 66 commercial agencies also operate in the country. Saudi Arabia hosts a similar number of Emirati projects.

Regarding challenges faced by the two countries, Al Dakheel highlighted the fact that certain parties aim to create divisions in the Arab world and support extremism in the Middle East and around the world while noting the policies of certain countries to ignite sectarian conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

He also spoke about the cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in countering the risks posed by terrorist organisations.