Lead­ers at­tend joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise in Saudi Ara­bia

EX­ER­CISE IN EASTERN PROV­INCE SHOWS RE­GION’S ABIL­ITY TO DEAL WITH EMERG­ING THREATS

Gulf News - - Front Page - BY HABIB TOUMI Bureau Chief

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.

Piv­otal role

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.

Saudi Press Agency

Cour­tesy: In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Cen­tre

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.

SPA

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.

SPA

Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Rashid looks on as Saudi King Sal­man greets Shaikh Mo­ham­mad Bin Zayed in Dhahran.

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