JEDDAH, 16th May, 2016 (WAM) – Saudi Arabia and the UAE have signed an agreement to establish a co-ordination council between the two countries.

The signing ceremony for setting up the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council, which was held today at the Peace Palace in Jeddah, was attended by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The move is based on shared religious, historical, social and cultural ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and their membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States, and out of keenness to consolidate the fraternal relations between them, and their desire to intensify bilateral co-operation through continuous consultation and co-ordination in many areas.

It also follows the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his brother the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The council is co-headed by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a number of ministers and officials in the two countries as members.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Nizar Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, and Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council.

The council aims at consultation and co-ordination in matters and issues of common interest in all fields.

The agreement states that the council will meet periodically and alternately between the two countries. The chairman of the coordination council can establish joint committees and name members when the need arises. The joint committees formed by the council will hold periodic and alternate meetings between the two countries.

It emphasises that the establishment of the coordination council and tasks entrusted to it do not affect the obligations among the GCC states.

Among others present at the signing ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Khalid al-Faisal, Adviser to the King of Saudi Arabia, Governor of Makkah Province; His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Saudi Arabia; Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, the Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi; Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al Dhahiri, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and a number of princes and officials.