Saudi king starts Gulf tour with visit to UAE
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman yesterday arrived in the United Arab Emirates to begin a regional tour aimed at strengthening relations with four neighboring Gulf allies. The UAE visit will be followed by stops in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait in the days ahead. It’s his first Gulf tour since taking power in Jan 2015. The seven-state Emirates federation includes the Mideast commercial hub of Dubai and the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi. It is the second-largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia.
King Salman was welcomed by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE’s official news agency (WAM) reported. An official reception was held for King Salman at the airport, and the Saudi national anthem was played, along with a 21-gun salute, it said.
Commenting on the tour, the Saudi royal diwan said in a statement the Saudi king is keen to communicate with GCC leaders in serving the GCC peoples and enhancing brotherhood bonds among Saudi Arabia and other GCC states. During the Gulf tour, the Saudi king is expected to meet GCC leaders and senior officials to review relations and ways of enhancing them in all fields as well as to discuss regional and international issues of common interest, the diwan said.
ABU DHABI: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (left) and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan arrive for a reception at the presidential airport yesterday.