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Saudi king starts tour of Gulf Arab states with visit to UAE

Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman arrived today in the United Arab Emirates to begin a regional tour aimed at strengthening relations with four neighboring Gulf allies.

The visit will be followed by stops in Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait in the days ahead. It’s his first Gulf tour since taking power in January 2015.

The seven-state Emirates federation includes the Mideast commercial hub of Dubai and the oil-rich capital, Abu Dhabi. It is the second-largest Arab economy after Saudi Arabia.

All of the countries Salman is visiting are part of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council. The only member of the Saudi-dominated bloc not included in his tour is Oman, which opposes efforts to form a more formal union among the member states.

PTI