In Lecture Series, No. (677) Held by The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) H.E. Turki bin Abdullah Al-Dakhil, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates: “There is a Need to Re-define the Concepts to Restore the True Religion from Its Abductors”

His Excellency Turki bin Abdullah Al-Dakhil, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates, stressed that Saudi-UAE relations are based on common social and political foundations, clearly manifested in understandings that have characterized relations between the two countries since the establishment of the United Arab Emirates. In a lecture titled Saudi-UAE Relations in Light of Shared Challenges, held by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, His Excellency said political harmony has existed between Saudi Arabia and the UAE since the 1960s. That political harmony has been strengthened on more than one occasion, whether in coordinated support provided to the Arab Republic of Egypt in the 1973 War, the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, or the common position adopted on the 2011 uprisings in Arab countries. Political harmony was further enhanced as both countries took part in Operation Decisive Storm to support the legitimate government in Yemen.

During his lecture, H.E. Al-Dakhil described how relations have culminated in the establishment of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council, which held its first meeting in Jeddah on June 7, 2018 under the chairmanship of His Highness 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, (may God protect them). The second meeting of the Executive Committee was held in Abu Dhabi on January 17, 2019, to follow up on the implementation of joint strategic projects.

H.E. Al-Dakhil also told how the Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, resulted in their participation in Operation Decisive Storm and supporting the notion of ​​the state, its stability and preserving it. The diplomatic efforts of both countries have been supported by international forums where they have worked together to support the legitimate choice of the Yemeni people.

At the economic level, Saudi investments in the UAE have exceeded AED35billion. The number of UAE projects in Saudi Arabia is 114, with 206 Saudi projects underway in the UAE. Today there are around 23,000 Saudi companies and sixty-six commercial franchises in the UAE, while Saudi Arabia hosts similar UAE projects.

Commenting on the challenges faced by the two countries, H.E. Al-Dakhil explained they could not be seen in isolation from the policies of some parties that support disunity in the Arab world, and extremism in the Middle East and beyond. He said the policies of some foreign parties provoked sectarian strife in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, as well as the adoption of Sunni and Shiite political Islamic movements, in order to impose instability and a political vacuum in the region as a prelude to external intervention.

H.E. Al-Dakhil explained how the UAE and Saudi Arabia have faced the danger of terrorist organizations, which openly criticize their policies to combat extremism and terrorism, attacking the notion of ​​the state and symbols of Arab moderation by spreading lies and using immoral methods. H.E. Al-Dakhil demanded continuous media vigilance in order to redefine concepts and identify the ethical bases for restoring the true religion from its abductors. He stressed the need to safeguard Islam from its abusers and exploiters, while protecting the notion of ​​the state and its institutions, and the independence of national decision-making from foreign intervention. He also called for consolidating the idea of the citizen and securing the future of coming generations by nurturing a modern moral values ​​system based on tolerance and openness.

In this context, H.E. Al-Dakhil explained that Saudi Arabia and the UAE understand organizations like Da’esh are an extension of extremism sponsored by terrorist organizations to serve their political objectives. Therefore, the two countries participated in the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, with high combat efficiency, and received international praise. They have supported anti-terrorism efforts in the African coast, in cooperation with the United States, and established the Global Center to Combat Extremism. H.E. Al-Dakhil also pointed out that when Saudi Arabia, led by H.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sought to establish the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, the UAE was one of the first countries to participate.

H.E. Turki bin Abdullah Al-Dakhil is the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the UAE, under a Royal Decree dated December 31, 2018. Prior to that, His Excellency worked in the media for three decades, in print, radio, television and online journalism. He also served as the General Manager of Al Arabiya and Al Hadath television channels from January 2015 to January 2019.