Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Arab foreign ministers to meet for Dead Sea talks

Ministers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt will attend

King Abdullah receives foreign ministers of Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Courtsey: Jordan News Agency
King Abdullah receives foreign ministers of Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Courtsey: Jordan News Agency

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed met with Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday ahead of a meeting with Arab foreign ministers to discuss regional matters.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi is expected to host his regional counterparts to discuss improving relations and addressing major Middle Eastern issues. Representatives from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt are also expected to attend.

The ministers met with King Abdullah on Wednesday who, according to his office, stressed the importance of a unified stance on regional issues.

Jordanian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Sufian Qudah told the Jordan Times that the ministers will go over bilateral relations and regional developments.

A statement from the Jordanian foreign ministry said that the talks would be an “exchange of ideas” on ways to solve the Middle East’s crises as well as serve pan Arab causes.

It gave no further information other than to say that the meeting will take place at the King Hussein Convention Centre at the Dead Sea.

The six countries have close ties and broadly agree on several contentious issues – including how to respond to Iranian regional influence. Last year, the UAE and Saudi agreed a major bailout for Jordan as it faced economic strain and mounting protests against planned taxes. The pair have also assisted Bahrain and Egypt and the countries have close political, security and trade links.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are also the four nations that cut relations with Doha in 2016 over what they said was Qatar’s destabilising influence.

Unlike the other states, Jordan and Egypt both have peace agreements and significant business deals with Israel.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry all led delegations to the meeting.

Formerly the Foreign Minister, Mr Al Jubeir became minister of state for foreign affairs last December. While he was replaced in his longstanding position by former finance minister Ibrahim Al Assaf, Riyadh insisted he would maintain an active role in regional and international affairs.

Updated: January 30, 2019 09:13 PM

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