February 11, 2018

UAE hosts Egyptian and Jordanian leaders, bilateral and regional issues discussed

King Abdullah expressed gratitude to the UAE for its “sustained support to the kingdom.”
Common threats. Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, on February 7. (Jordanian Royal Palace)
Common threats. Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi, on February 7. (Jordanian Royal Palace)

LONDON - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II travelled to the United Arab Emirates for official talks with UAE leaders at a time when the Emirates’ regional influence has grown because of its efforts in promoting security and stability.

Talks over two days between Sisi and UAE leaders focused on cooperation in political and economic arenas, as well as security matters and methods of fighting “extremism, violence and terrorism,” the UAE’s WAM news agency reported.

Sisi met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE vice-president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

“Mohammed bin Rashid and Mohammed bin Zayed discussed means of strengthening our brotherly relations, along with regional and international issues, with the Egyptian president,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on his Twitter account.

Officials did not elaborate on the nature of the talks but Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi earlier said Sisi’s visit to the UAE would focus on “means of enhancing political, economic and commercial cooperation and the latest regional developments.”

“UAE-Egyptian relations are based on strong foundations of consensus and understanding on regional and international issues,” a WAM statement said.

WAM quoted Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed as saying: “The Emirati-Egyptian coordination has proved its hardness over the past years in facing various challenges in the region, foremost of which is the challenge of terrorism, which has become a serious global threat that cannot be tolerated.”

Last June, Egypt and the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, severed diplomatic ties with Qatar as well as all air, sea and land links to the Gulf state, over what they described as Qatar’s interference in their sovereign affairs and its ties to radical Islamic groups, charges Doha denies.

King Abdullah, whose country enjoys considerable economic and military ties with the Emirates, met with Sheikh Mohammed in Abu Dhabi February 7 with talks centring on developing joint Arab action on security and stability, especially with regards to fighting terrorism and extremism.

The official Jordanian Petra news agency said King Abdullah expressed gratitude to the UAE for its “sustained support to the kingdom to carry out development projects and its aid in the military field.”

The two leaders discussed the Middle East peace process and how to kick-start Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on a two-state solution.

Both the king and the Abu Dhabi crown prince agreed on the importance of creating a framework that would lead to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as proposed by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

In a related development, the World Health Organisation announced that 20 medical centres in the Gaza Strip would soon be fully operational thanks to a grant from the UAE. After an emergency appeal from the United Nations, the UAE pledged $2 million to help end a fuel shortage that affected more than 2 million Gaza natives.

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