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The New Arab

UAE gifts Saudi Arabia's King Salman highest civilian award

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are heavily involved in the war in Yemen [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 December, 2016

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The UAE has presented King Salman with its highest civilian honour on Saturday, as the the Saudi monarch takes part in a tour of Arab Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has been awared the UAE's highest civilian honorary award on Saturday, for his role in strengthening relations between the two Gulf states.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud recieved the Order of Zayed award at an official reception held in the UAE capital, during his visit to the country.

The UAE recognised the Saudi royal "for his pivotal role in strengthening the fraternal cooperation between the two countries and supporting the region", local Khaleej Times reported.

He is taking part in the tour of the Gulf, visiting neighbours in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait in the coming week, but missing out GCC partner Oman who has not taken part in the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen.

While Saudi Arabia is leading the Arab coalition battling Houthi rebels there, the UAE too plays a major role in the operation.

Abu Dhabi has deployed an undisclosed number of soldiers to Yemen's southern provinces, were they provide a security boost for the now Aden-based government.

"The UAE always believes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the pillar of the Arab nation and  its security and stability are part and parcel of the UAE and other GCC and Arab states," Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said as he welcomed the king to the UAE on its 45th National Day.

 "This confirms the close strategic co-ordination between the two countries at all levels and all fields at the Arab, Gulf, regional and global arenas," he noted.

More than 10,000 people have died in Yemen since the conflict escalated with the Saudi-led coalition military intervention in March 2015, according to UN figures.

The mounting death toll and repeated 'error' airstrikes have prompted the international community to repeatedly accuse the coalition of war crimes - a charge it strongly denies.

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