The United Arab Emirates announced it is forming a new military and economic committee with Saudi Arabia separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council. The move comes after Kuwait hosted a two-day summit of the GCC, which has been riven by divisions after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar earlier this year. The committee "will coordinate between the two countries in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields," according to a decree issued by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. There has been no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities. The two countries are close military allies, including in Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battling Iran-backed rebels. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, together with Egypt, cut all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the emirate of supporting Islamist extremists and of being too close to Shiite Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival. Qatar denies the allegations.


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