UAE and regional allies discuss common stance in Jordan

Foreign ministers of UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait hold talks on Palestinian cause, Iran and Syria

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Six Arab foreign ministers held a one-day summit in Jordan on Thursday to align policy and strengthen co-operation on regional issues including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iranian interference and Syria.

The meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan was attended by UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, along with the foreign ministers of Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia’s state minister of foreign affairs.

Jordan's foreign ministry said the ministers “exchanged views on regional developments and ways to deal with them” as well as “ending the crises in the region” in an open-ended and “productive” discussion.

The ministers focused on “the common goal of achieving security and stability” in the region.

The meeting was “positive and constructive”, ministry spokesman Sufian Qudah said in a statement, and involved a “broad dialogue with an open-ended agenda on developments in the region”, common challenges and "strengthening co-operation and co-ordination to serve Arab interests and causes”.

An official source told The National the focus was on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly ways to unite Arab positions on the issue in their dealings with the US administration as well as Israel.

Syria, and the Bashar Al Assad regime’s re-entry into regional organisations, was also among topics discussed, the source said, as well as a united policy regarding Iran and its proxies in the region.

The summit comes two weeks before a summit on Middle East security being convened by the United States in Warsaw.

The five visiting foreign ministers had an audience with King Abdullah at the Husseiniya Palace on Wednesday. The Jordanian monarch highlighted the “deep-rooted and brotherly” ties between their countries and stressed the “importance of co-ordinating Arab positions on regional issue”, according to the Royal Court.

King Abdullah highlighted the need for ending to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution guaranteeing a Palestinian state on pre-1967 lines.

The six countries broadly agree on several contentious regional issues and have solidified as the leading bloc and voice for the Arab world in recent years, particularly in the response to Iranian regional interference and Syria, among other issues.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, hailed the summit as a "positive initiative to activate the Arab co-operation towards the crisis in the region".

"Co-ordination is necessary in the midst of rude and unacceptable regional interventions," Dr Gargash wrote on Twitter. "Clear vision and joint work are our way for stability and prosperity."