The UAE and Saudi joint dialogue is the nucleus that will bring the Arab world together, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mohammed's comments came early Thursday following the launch of the Saudi-Emirati Co-ordination Council at the Peace Palace Jeddah that he chaired, along with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Describing the country as a second home, he said the alliance with Saudi Arabia was a strategic choice that would build on development opportunities and harness the strength of young people who were a vital resource of both nations.
“Our alliance with KSA is a strategic choice that increases our strength and provides both countries a promising future. We’re keen to form a nucleus that brings all Arabs together,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on Thursday.
“In our second home, KSA, my brother Mohammed bin Salman and I witnessed the 1st meeting of the Saudi-UAE Co-ordination Council, which represents our aspirations for the future & reflects our vision, brotherhood & common destiny.”
As part of an initiative called The Strategy of Resolve, 44 joint projects will foster cooperation in security, military, economic and development projects, according to a statement issued by Wam, the state news agency.
A five-year target was set by the two leaders to implement programmes to strengthen links in defence, exercises to test security systems in key sectors and joint investments in oil, gas and petrochemicals.
The leaders highlighted common strategies on food security with an agricultural joint venture with a capital of Dh5 billion, an investment fund in the renewable energy sector to attract large companies and start-ups that would support research projects along with a fund for small and medium industry.
Hailing the alliance as a “quantum leap” for the people, Sheikh Mohammed dwelt on the common destiny of the youth that would be shaped by the deepening of ties.
“Our countries have the potential, resources, the correct strategic vision & above all, our youth – our most valuable asset,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“History will bear witness to the kind of work and join co-operation the UAE and Saudi Arabia will produce. Leaders of both countries have come together to shape a promising future for their people, a future that provides the youth better opportunities to help build their nations.”
The plans were announced on the basis of objectives worked out by government officials on both sides over the past year.
Exchange of information and knowledge in financial technology, insurance sector, activating value-added manufacturing industries, development of a plan for manufacture of sensitive medical drugs and establish of a joint reference laboratory were among the projects discussed.
Establishment of a unified electronic portal to link the two countries to follow-up on complaints and suggestions on common markets and improving traffic in ports by handling the obstacles that restrict the flow of trade would also help to foster economic ties.
The focus will be wide-ranging, from a research centre to formulate indigenous desalination technology and exchange of expertise in the nuclear energy sector.
The plans cover a common vision for tourism and national heritage, aims to cut procedural and legislative restrictions that hinder the pace of housing services and launch of residential welfare programmes for citizens of both nations to stimulate financing agencies to provide integrated housing products to nationals.
Sheikh Shakbout bin Nahyan, the UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said signing of the memoranda of understanding reflected the strengthening of bilateral ties and followed the directives of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting confirmed that the leadership was unified, he said, and added that he looked forward to developing the relationship to benefit the people and in order to face future challenges.
Congratulating the leadership, he said both nations were international models that maintained relations based on integration, understanding and harmony.