Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in UAE on official visit

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on his arrival in the UAE. (Saudi foreign ministry)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on his arrival in the UAE. (Saudi foreign ministry)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on his arrival in the UAE. (Saudi foreign ministry)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed attend a Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council meeting. (SPA)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council meeting. (SPA)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed attend a Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council meeting. (SPA)
Updated 27 November 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arrives in UAE on official visit

  • He was met by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed on arrival
  • Crown Prince Mohammed was driven to Abu Dhabi's presidential palace Qasr Al-Watan

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday for an official visit.

The crown prince was met by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on arrival. The two leaders are expected to discuss regional issues and bilateral relations.

 

He headed the Saudi delegation at the second meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council.

“Relations between Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been characterized by dealing with difficult issues in a smooth manner, especially considering the political and ideological volatility in the region,” a joint statement issued by both sides of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council said on Wednesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said that he and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman witnessed the exchange of four MoUs and reviewed seven strategic initiatives during a Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council meeting on Wednesday. The MoUs that were signed were in the fields of  health, culture, space, and food. 

 

 

Crown Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom's relationship with the UAE is based on cooperation and common policies towards events in the region, and that the strong relations between the two countries are built on solid foundations. 

The Saudi crown prince’s last visit to the UAE was in November 2018 as part of a wider regional tour of several Arab countries.

 

Crown Prince Mohammed was driven to Abu Dhabi's presidential palace Qasr Al-Watan through the city where the streets were lined with Saudi and Emirati flags.

As his motorcade arrived at the palace it was greeted by a calvacade that escorted them towards the entrance.

Inside the palace, the crown princes listened to their national anthems and inspected the guard of honour.


US considering troop boost to counter Iran

Updated 47 min 43 sec ago

US considering troop boost to counter Iran

  • A source has said Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East
  • Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions

WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region.
Testifying before Congress, John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said the United States was “observing Iran’s behavior with concern.”
“We’re continuing to look at that threat picture and have the ability to dynamically adjust our force posture,” Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
A US official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East.
The official did not confirm where the troops would be sent, or in what timeframe, but said that the deployment would be due to frustrations with Iranian-linked groups’ attacks on US assets.
Rood, under questioning, denied a report by The Wall Street Journal the United States was considering sending 14,000 more troops — equivalent to the number sent over the past six months.
Esper also denied the 14,000 figure in a phone call with Senator Jim Inhofe, the chairman of the committee, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said.
US President Donald Trump later tweeted that: “The story today that we are sending 12,000 troops to Saudi Arabia is false or, to put it more accurately, Fake News!“
It was not immediately clear which report the president was referring to.
Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions, including trying to block all its oil exports.
In September, the United States said Iran was responsible for attacks on the major Abqaiq oil processing center in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally and Iran’s regional rival.
Riyadh then asked Washington for reinforcements, receiving two fighter squadrons, additional missile defense batteries, and bringing the number of US troops stationed in the Kingdom to about 3,000.
The United States has also been alarmed by an uptick in attacks on bases in Iraq, where major demonstrations triggered by economic discontent have also targeted Iran’s clerical regime and its overwhelming influence in its Shiite-majority neighbor.
“We’re lucky no one has been killed. There is a spike in rocket attacks,” another US official said.
“It’s clearly not Daesh. Everything is going in the right direction and it’s the right range,” the official said, contrasting Iranian capabilities with those of the extremist Daesh group.
Among the incidents, five rockets hit the Al-Asad Air Base on Tuesday, just four days after US Vice President Mike Pence visited US troops there.
Iran denied involvement in the September attack in Saudi Arabia, which was claimed by Tehran-backed Houthi militia.
The tensions come as Iran itself has faced major protests set off by a sharp hike in gas prices.