Leaders attend joint military exercise in Saudi Arabia
EXERCISE IN EASTERN PROVINCE SHOWS REGION’S ABILITY TO DEAL WITH EMERGING THREATS
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attend the joint Gulf Shield-1 drill in the presence of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, yesterday. Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, was also present at the region’s largest military exercise, along with a number of leaders from the Arab world.
King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and other leaders, yesterday attended the conclusion of the Gulf Shield 1 military drill in Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. The exercise involves 24 countries, and is aimed at ensuring effective partner-response to emerging threats, as well as supporting stability and security in the region.
Termed Gulf Shield-1, the event integrates live fire, coastal defence and combat searchand-rescue drills, as well as naval warfare exercises and extensive flying operations. The exercises concluded yesterday.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed expressed his appreciation to King Salman for holding the drill and his directives to ensure its success. “Saudi Arabia is an Arab-Islamic bulwark against any attempts to threaten regional security, or interfere in the Arab nation’s internal affairs or tampering with the region’s assets, resources and gains.
“The UAE will always stand by Saudi Arabia and the Emirati-Saudi coalition is based on firm principles and solid foundations of understanding and mutual respect and joint action to promote regional security and stability and safeguard Arab national security in the face of any risks or threats.”
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said the active and strong participation of Emirati armed forces in this military drill reflects the UAE’s commitment to working closely with friendly countries, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyah.
He added the conduct of this large-scale military exercise emphasises the pivotal and leading role Saudi Arabia plays as a pillar of security and stability in the region, and the world. It also signals confidence in its policies and its ability to be a hub for coordinating efforts.
Brigadier General Abdullah Subaei, spokesman for Gulf Shield-1, was quoted by the International Communication Centre (ICC) as saying that “the drill constitutes two segments: traditional warfare and hybrid warfare. The event is also meant to demonstrate our ability to take joint military action, [and] the region’s readiness to support Arab unity and its capacity to deter any threats.”
Brigadier General Subaei said the region faced many threats, including terrorism and extremism, adding: “This exercise demonstrates that we have the cooperation of friendly nations, and the experience and expertise to deal with these threats.”
He added that the exercise was intended to strengthen military and security cooperation, update defence mechanisms, keep abreast of rapidly evolving challenges and risks, and guarantee the region’s readiness to shift its stance from defence to offence in the face of any major threat.
A stable Gulf region will also generate investment opportunities and contribute to attracting foreign investment, the spokesman said.
Organised by the Saudi Ministry of Defence, Gulf Shield-1 is said to be the largest in the region in terms of the number of participating nations, troops and equipment used.
The joint military exercise with 24 countries to ensure effective partner response to threats, as well as to support stability and security in the region, is in progress in Saudi Arabia.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and President of Comoros Azali Assoumani observe the exercise in Saudi Arabia.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid looks on as Saudi King Salman greets Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed in Dhahran.