(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have unveiled a raft of economic deals, including in the defence industry, as the Gulf powerhouses look to boost ties.
The two Gulf nations signed 20 memoranda of understanding for over 60 joint projects to be implemented over the next five years in sectors including oil and gas, banking, nuclear energy and defence.
The projects were approved at a meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah on Wednesday night, chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
"The Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council provides the ideal model for bilateral cooperation between countries while supporting the Gulf Cooperation Council joint work system," said a statement by the Saudi information ministry after Wednesday's meeting.
The joints projects also include investments in the petrochemical sector, unified food security projects and creating a $1.4 billion agricultural investment firm. The strategy calls for setting up a joint fund for nuclear energy and a bilateral council to coordinate well over $1.3 trillion in foreign investments.
Speaking on the UAE and Saudi ties, Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said that holding the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council in Jeddah and the signing of MoUs reflect the strategic relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
He added that the bilateral ties between the two countries could be described as the strongest, most understanding and unified in terms of opinions in the region, due to the directives of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Sheikh Shakhbout said the meeting confirms that the directives of the leadership of both countries are unified in a variety of topics. He also noted that he is looking forward to developing their ties to benefit their people, especially as they are both political and economic powers and are united by many mutual stances and overall cooperation, to promote the process of development and face future challenges.
Sheikh Shakhbout praised the strategic ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia while stressing that the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa are based on a historic Emirati vision established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to promote the UAE's key ties with Saudi Arabia.
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