In a move that will strengthen bilateral relations, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Monday signed a protocol to establish a coordinating council in the presence of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This took place after King Salman received Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed at the Peace Palace in Jeddah where the two sides reviewed bilateral relations and aspects of cooperation in various fields. They also discussed the latest regional and international events.
The protocol was signed on the Saudi side by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Nizar bin Obaid Madani and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Mohammad Hammad Al Shamsi signed it on behalf of the UAE.
The council is led by the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the Second Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence on the Saudi side, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs on the UAE side. The membership of the council is made up of a number of ministers and officials from the two countries.
According to the protocol, the coordination council must meet periodically, alternating between the two countries. The joint committees formed by the council must also hold periodic meetings that alternate between the two states.
The agreement also stated that the establishment of the coordination council and the tasks entrusted to it does not affect existing obligations and cooperation between countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The decision to create a Saudi-UAE coordination council comes after similar agreements were made between Saudi Arabia and other countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.