United Arab Emirates Army Chief of Staff Hamad Al-Rumaithi met Monday with Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sedky Sobhy to discuss boosting cooperation and military relations between the nations. The meeting, held in Cairo and attended by senior leaders of the Egyptian army as well as the UAE ambassador, also featured an “exchange of experiences between the armed forces”.
The meeting focused on “strategic relations” between the “brotherly nations”, according to an army press release.
Al-Rumaithi congratulated the army leadership on successfully securing the recent national referendum and for “building a foundation for a modern democratic state”.
On Sunday, the UAE cabinet passed a draft law making military service mandatory for all males, aged 18-30. A similar law also applies currently in Egypt to all males between 18 and 30 years of age.
Last week Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Mohamed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum told BBC that he would prefer General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to remain head of the armed forces instead of running for president as many political observers assume he will do.
Hours later, an official source at the UAE Prime Minister’s office clarified Al-Maktoum’s statement, stressing “the respect of the United Arab Emirates for the will of the Egyptian people and its support for their political choices”, effectively rescinding Al-Maktoum’s comment.
The UAE also backed the 3 July ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, later offering a $2.8bn stimulus package to the interim government, as well as $3bn in grants and interest-free loans.
Additional reporting by Fady Ashraf