RIYADH, -- The workings of the second group of the UAE-KSA Joint Determination Retreat, organised by the UAE-Saudi Co-ordination Council, were launched today in Riyadh, with the attendance and participation of ministers, high officials and general managers from both countries.

The retreat came from the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his brother King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, to strengthen the historic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and place a long-term roadmap.

The UAE-KSA Joint Determination Retreat is a stage in a chain of joint meetings between the UAE and Saudi Arabia as part of the UAE-Saudi Coordination Council, headed by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, from the UAE and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, from Saudi Arabia. The retreat aims to discuss areas of common interest and place a general structure and work plans for the UAE-Saudi Coordination Council.

The workings of the retreat started with a welcome speech by both Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Eng. Adel Fakeih, Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning, where they stressed the importance of the retreat and its outcomes in supporting co-operation between the two countries, the goals of the UAE-Saudi Coordination Council and their efforts to strengthen the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, system.

In his speech, Al Gergawi said that current co-operation and integration between the UAE and Saudi Arabia are at their strongest, and their relations are growing and improving to support the journey of the GCC, while the leadership of both countries strive to make it exceptional and exemplary.

"The UAE and Saudi Arabia have well-known stances in regional co-operation that are being followed, which resulted in the UAE-Saudi Coordination Council where the determination retreat originated from," he added, while stressing that "both countries today have a historic opportunity with the presence of their historic leaderships, and trust is great in the minds of their citizens and workers, while our trust is great in the excellent and exceptional future relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia."

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy said the retreat provided an opportunity for both sides to discuss important issues, particularly on logistics areas and how airports and seaports in the two countries can be further developed to serve their economic growth.

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy said the retreat discussed means to increase joint investment in manufacturing industries petrochemicals, as well as the best ways to minimise dependence on crude and to cut energy consumption locally.

Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development said the retreat provided the ideal platform for cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in a way that will fulfill aspirations of the two brotherly peoples.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment said both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have made great achievements in agriculture, despite the challenges of water scarcity.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, said the retreat's outcomes included ambitious plans to increase productivity and to enhance revenues, with the focus on increasing private sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA) and CEO of Mubadala, said the Saudi-Emirati partnership is enshrined in the rich history of the two peoples.

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, said the two countries are working together to develop vocational education to meet demand at the job market.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said the retreat represents a solid foundation for political and diplomatic integration between the UAE and Saudi Arabia and an opportunity to exchange views on regional and international affairs.

Source: Emirates News Agency