Saudi-UAE relations have 'no limits' says Emirati ambassador

Sheikh Shakhbout praises Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation as unique opportunity to support member states

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - March 02, 2019: Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia at the OIC Ministerial Meeting. Saturday the 2nd of March 2019 at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, says "the sky is the limit" when it comes to his country’s relationship with the neighbouring Kingdom.

Speaking on Saturday on the sidelines of the 46th Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation conference in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Shakhbout said he sees the relationship with Saudi Arabia as one that will continue to grow and benefit both countries.

"As we always say, the sky's the limit," he told The National. "We have no limits in our relationship...the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council has many initiatives and programmes in place to take the relationship to a different level," he said, in reference to a bilateral diplomatic agreement that has seen both countries work closely to enhance cooperation on regional and global issues.

In 2018 the council set a five-year plan to implement 44 joint projects in an initiative called the Strategy of Resolve.

The ambassador said that the council, which includes 16 high-ranking ministers from both countries, will work to improve coordination in all sectors, including finance, human and knowledge, political, security and military.

“Our past has been together, our present is together and our future will be together as well,” he said. "Should it be from supporting each other’s position in international organisations, or politically or in sustainable development, education health care – all sectors.”

He said that the OIC meeting, which is celebrating 50 years in operation, is a unique opportunity for countries to achieve strategically relevant aims.

“The 50 years of the OIC operating in supporting the work and efforts of the member countries is a testament to the organisation’s effectiveness,” he said.

The two-day conference has seen foreign ministers from 56 countries discuss a range of issues including support for Muslim communities outside the Arab world, combatting hate speech and terrorism in African countries, and curbing Islamophobia.