UAE and Saudi Arabia form new alliance

AFP , Tuesday 5 Dec 2017

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (Photo: Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday it was forming a new military and economic committee with Saudi Arabia separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The move comes with Kuwait hosting a two-day summit of the GCC, which is riven by divisions after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar earlier this year.

The committee "will co-ordinate between the two countries in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields," according to a decree issued by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The two countries are close military allies, including in Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed rebels.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, together with Egypt, cut all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the gas-rich emirate of supporting Islamist extremists and of being too close to Shia Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival. 

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