Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates convened in a rare meeting. The state media confirmed the rendezvous, highlighting efforts by the two Gulf nations to bridge their differences in the face of a situation that threatens to engulf the Middle East in turmoil.
The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who effectively leads the kingdom, warmly welcomed the UAE President, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at Riyadh’s airport, as captured by Saudi state news agency SPA.
Recent years have seen infrequent public encounters between the Crown Prince and Sheikh Mohammed, as both nations, although close allies, engaged in competition for investment opportunities and regional dominance.
Sheikh Mohammed was in attendance at a summit held in Riyadh on Friday, where leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered. The summit’s proceedings were duly covered by Saudi and UAE state media.
Following the summit, a joint statement issued by GCC and ASEAN nations called for a lasting ceasefire, the immediate release of civilian hostages and detainees, and advocated for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.