De facto UAE leader visits Saudi crown prince amid tensions

De facto UAE leader visits Saudi crown prince amid tensions
2 min read
A public dispute between the two states this month disrupted policy setting by OPEC+, an oil producers' group that comprises OPEC and a number of allies.
The United Arab Emirates' de facto ruler held talks in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [SPA]

The de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met in Riyadh on Monday, emphasising the ties between the neighbours after a public row over oil policy.

"My brother Mohammed bin Salman and I discussed ways to further deepen the fraternal bond and strategic cooperation between our nations," Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said after talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

"The partnership between the UAE and Saudi Arabia continues to be strong and prosperous," he tweeted.

The pair have long been seen as the region's power couple, known by their initials MBZ and MBS. But a lack of joint appearances of late had triggered speculation that the relationship had cooled.

A dispute earlier this month over a proposed deal by the OPEC+ alliance of oil-producing countries burst into the open, exposing the steadily diverging paths of the allies.

Economic rivalry is at the heart of the feud, as the Gulf states try to cash in on their vast oil reserves as they face the beginning of the end of the oil era.

The UAE had criticised the proposal as "unjust" in a rare challenge to Saudi Arabia, the world's number-one oil exporter.

However, the 23-member OPEC+ reached a compromise on Sunday, agreeing to continue to boost output modestly from August.

Saudi state media said that Prince Mohammed had received the Emirati leader at the airport on his arrival.

"During the meeting, they reviewed deep-rooted fraternal relations between the two countries and aspects of bilateral cooperation and ways to support and develop it in various fields," the Saudi state news agency SPA said.