Emphasising the depth of historic bonds and strength of strategic ties between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Saudi under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, share an inclusive vision for joint co-operation and co-ordination towards challenges the region could face.
''Close Emirati-Saudi military cooperation remains a safety valve against any potential threats the region could experience,'' Sheikh Mohamed said in a statement after attending the military parade at the conclusion of the Joint North Thunder Exercise in northern Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Participation of the UAE in the manoeuvres, Sheikh Mohamed stressed was a practical embodiment of its long-standing policy based on active engagement in any effort seeking to bolster joint co-operation and co-ordination for safeguarding security and stability in the region.
He indicated that the joint military exercises held in Saudi with the participation of 20 Arab and Islamic countries were the most important and largest ever military manoeuvres undertaken globally and they demonstrated a high level of readiness and sophisticated military capabilities to conduct the drill plans in efficient harmony among the involved forces.
He noted that the joint drills between forces from 20 nations that are different in terms of military doctrine, training plans and weapons provided a precious opportunity for sharing expertise in order to upgrade inter-troop co-ordination and combat capabilities.
''This huge military gathering in Saudi Arabia confirms the international confidence in its wise policies and its persistent effort for realising peace and stability in the region and the world as well as in its ability to act as a factor for unifying efforts of countries and coordinating among them to address the rapidly changing and troubling regional and international reality,'' Sheikh Mohamed said, and added that the North Thunder Exercise showed that countries in the region were capable of turning challenges into opportunities through their joint co-operation and co-ordination of their capabilities and setting of solid foundations for a collective sustainable and active action towards common risks.
The region, he noted, is facing rapidly changing threats and risks in terms of their magnitude, nature, sources and forces behind them and goals of these forces and tactics they apply which require armies of the region to maintain maximum state preparedness and response in an active manner to any new threats through joint exercises, development of military tactics and plans in consistent with the significant advancement taking place in military tactics in the world in areas of arms, plans and type of wars.
Sheikh Mohamed indicated that the North Thunder Exercise’s key message is that participating countries can join hands to protect their security, borders and territorial integrity and work together to leverage their military readiness amidst a regional and international environment that needed maximum state of caution and preparedness.
Mohamed attends luncheon hosted by Saudi King
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Saturday attended a luncheon hosted by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, in honour of the leaders and delegates of Arab and Muslim countries participating in the Northern Thunder military exercises.
Also in attendance were Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser; Major-General Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Chairman of the State Security Department, Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi; Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak; Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA); Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary at the Court of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince; Lt. General Isa Saif bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and a number of officials.
Leaders of the participating Arab and Muslim countries also attended the banquet.
Mohamed bin Zayed meets Emir of Qatar
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on Saturday met Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar.
During the meeting, they reviewed fraternal ties between the two countries and ways of developing them for the benefit of the two countries and the two brotherly peoples. Sheikh Mohamed and the Emir of Qatar tackled a number of issues of mutual interest and regional and international issues.
The meeting was attended by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser; Major-General Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the State Security Department, Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, and Major General Isa Saif bin Ablan Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, and a number of Qatari officials.