Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, as efforts to end the nearly five-year war in Yemen gain momentum.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are close allies and key members of a military coalition backing the government in Yemen against the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.
The Saudi crown prince’s visit reflects “agreement between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh… in addressing regional challenges”, the official UAE state news agency WAM reported.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan greeted Prince Mohammed 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 Mohammed.
The sound of fighter jets resonated across Abu Dhabi’s skies as the two leaders headed together to the opulent presidential palace, where Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler was greeted with the classic Saudi song “You are the King”. This comes a day after the Saudi-led military coalition said it will release 200 Yemeni Huthi rebels and permit some flights from the insurgent-held capital Sanaa.
The initiatives coincided with a lull in Huthi attacks on Saudi Arabia launched from Yemeni soil and come after a senior official in Riyadh this month said it had an “open channel” with the Iran-aligned rebels.— AFP