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MBS accorded warm welcome in UAE 4 MoUs inked and 7 strategic initiatives reviewed by SECC; joint tourist visa and joint digital currency eyed
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 11 - 2019

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, arrived in UAE on Wednesday, for a two-day state visit, where he was received by Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Sheikh Mohammed accorded a warm welcome to the Crown Prince upon his arrival to the UAE, and he tweeted, "I am delighted to welcome my brother and friend Muhammad Bin Salman, to his second home, the UAE. Our dear guest is among his family."
Muhammad Bin Salman and Mohammad Bin Zayed witnessed the exchange of four memorandum of understanding (MoUs) and reviewed seven strategic initiatives during the second Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council (SECC) meeting, as they chaired the meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.
The two Crown Princes expressed their delight and optimism at the shared visions and the great and positive results achieved by the SECC.
Prince Muhammad said, "The Saudi-UAE Coordination Council is a model platform to achieve the visions of the two leaderships towards deepening cooperation and enhancing integration between the two countries in various fields."
He emphasized that, "The strong relations between the two countries are built on a solid and historical foundations of cooperation and common policies towards the affairs of the region and the world.
"The depth of the relations between the two countries was clearly reflected through the harmony of the vision of the Saudi-UAE coordination council with the national strategies goals of the two countries."
"Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and the UAE Vision 2021 are aimed at achieving prosperity for the two nations people, building hope and promoting progress in the region."
Prince Muhammad said, "The Year of 2020 is the year of international achievements, we are onset of hosting major international events that we have reached after continuous planning, work and effort. Saudi Arabia's presidency of the G20 during 2020 and the UAE's hosting Expo 2020.
"We aim from this council to achieve an exceptional model of joint cooperation based on the strengths of the two countries and the spirit of determination and leadership enjoyed by our people."
Sheikh Mohammed too said, "Our joint economy ranks 16th globally and we can work together to become one of the top 10 economies in the world. Globally, we will increase our investments to be one of the top ten countries investing worldwide, and our financial markets exceed $ 720 billion and strive to be one of the top ten financial markets in the world.
"The relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia are not only historical and strategic relations, but are relations of blood and a common destiny. We have worked over the past years to make a qualitative strategic shift in our bilateral relations, security and stability of the region."
Earlier, Sheikh Mohammed greeted Prince Muhammad at the capital's airport. The streets of Abu Dhabi were lined with Emirati and Saudi flags, while road signs that usually display traffic warnings greeted Prince Muhammad.
The sound of fighter jets resonated across Abu Dhabi's skies as the two leaders headed together to the Qasr Al Watan Palace, where Prince Muhammad was greeted with classical Saudi songs.
The initiatives reviewed during the meeting was the joint tourist visa, facilitating the flow of traffic between customs outlets, the joint food security strategy, cyber security, joint digital currency, the new giant refinery project and the Saudi-Emirati Youth Council.
Construction of a new crude oil refinery with a capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day integrated with a modern petrochemical complex at an initial cost of $70 billion in the state of Maharashtra in western India has begun. The refinery will secure the supply of at least 600,000 barrels per day of Saudi and UAE crude oil for the Indian market with a high percentage of conversion to chemicals.
The two sides also exchanged four new memorandums of understanding in the fields of health, culture, space and food security in order to intensify and integrate efforts and find innovative solutions to optimize the utilization of available resources and reach the development goals of both countries.
Prince Muhammad was accorded an official reception upon his arrival at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.
Just before the arrival of Prince Muhammad's delegation, Al Fursan, (The Knights), the United Arab Emirates Air Force aerobatic display team, flew over the palace sky, forming the flag of Saudi Arabia.
A folklore group also performed folk concerts and rendered various heritage songs with a group of children raising the flags of the two countries to welcome and celebrate the visit.
Sheikh Mohammed accompanied Prince Muhammad to the podium of honor and the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and the UAE were played. Afterwards, an artillery gun fired 21 rounds to welcome Prince Muhammad.
Emirati warplanes, in tribute to Prince Muhammad, escorted the plane carrying the Saudi Crown Prince as he entered the UAE airspace.
The Royal Court announced earlier on Wednesday that the Crown Prince's visit to the UAE comes upon the directive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and emanating from his keenness on communicating and strengthening brotherly ties between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Muhammad Bin Salman visit reflects "agreement between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh... in addressing regional challenges", the official UAE state news agency WAM reported.
Earlier, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash welcomed Crown Prince Muhammad in a statement.
"Welcome to Prince Muhammad in his country the UAE, amongst his brothers and his family. Welcome brother and supporter and partner and ally and loved one, welcome to the one who leads an ambitious vision of the size and weight of his country. Welcome Saudi Arabia to the UAE," Gargash wrote on his official Twitter account.

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