The Strategic Significance of UAE-Saudi Relations

  • 12 August 2014

The visit of UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Saudi Arabia yesterday and his meeting with HRH Prince Saud Al Faisal, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, underscores the positive UAE-Saudi relations and its great strategic depth. This relationship has been a cornerstone of the Gulf and security apparatus in the midst of the complex circumstances facing the Arab and Middle East region.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit is the result of a rise in high level reciprocal visits between the two brotherly countries, which they have undertaken to ensure continuous consultation on issues of interest to the Gulf, Arab region and the Middle East. It also points to the awareness of the gravity of the transformations taking place in the region, and the importance of coordination and serious engagement by being proactive, and not reactive.

The visit comes at a time when the UAE and Saudi Arabia have taken significant steps to strengthen bilateral relations. It is noteworthy that an agreement was signed between the two countries in May for the formation of a joint committee, headed by Foreign Ministers, to implement the strategic vision of the leaderships of the two countries, to reach a more secure and stable levels to cope up with the challenges in the region.

Another strategic framework agreement was signed in June between Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. The agreement is aimed at enhancing strategic cooperation in a very important field, which is energy. Such agreements suggest that relations between the two sides are progressing at political, economic and security levels.

The two countries have also adopted consistent positions on the threats facing the Arab region, beginning with extremism and terrorism. They have worked together to develop an effective common Arab strategy to address these threats as they are aware of their responsibility to play an effective role in addressing the. Inability to deploy a collective strategy could undermine the region’s security and stability, integrity of its states and coexistence of its people.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, described the relations between Saudi Arabia and the UAE as strategic, which shows how the two sides view each other. Both these countries are keen to boost their relations and have built consensus on regional and international issues. They are aware of the gravity of the threats facing them and, perhaps most importantly, believe that dealing with these threats is primarily the responsibility of countries of the region.