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King attends landmark military drill in Saudi Arabia

His Majesty returns home, thanks Saudi monarch for hosting summit

By JT - Apr 16,2018 - Last updated at Apr 16,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah and several Arab leaders attend the conclusion of the Joint Gulf Shield 1 drills in Saudi Arabia on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah and Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, along with several Arab and foreign heads of state, on Monday attended the conclusion of the Joint Gulf Shield 1 drills.

Monday’s exercises, which were staged at Samet Field in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, included a simulated counteroffensive using fighter jets, attack helicopters and various military equipment, according to a Royal Court statement.

They also featured a naval attack scenario.

Accompanying King Abdullah, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat and Adviser to His Majesty and Director of the Office of His Majesty Manar Dabbas were also in attendance.

The month-long Joint Gulf Shield 1 military drill was conducted with the participation of units from the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), as well as military troops from 24 countries.

The drill, the largest in the region, was aimed at enhancing the capacities of participating forces and modernising their security and military measures, while bolstering coordination and cooperation.

The event also aimed at training forces on joint strategic operational planning, unifying terms among participating armies and executing conventional and unconventional military operations in simulation for potential terrorist and extremist threats.

The exercises also covered joint tactical and strategic planning and anti-terrorism operations.

The JAF’s participation was aimed at building the capacities of its units and benefitting from the expertise of other participating forces, the statement said.

Later in the day, His Majesty returned to the Kingdom after participating in the 29th Arab summit.

Upon his return, the King tweeted: “I thank my brother the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines and His HH Crown Prince Mohammad for hosting the summit and their hospitality and warm welcome, wishing all the best for the summit in its 29th session”. 

During his speech at the pan-Arab meeting, King Abdullah said it was necessary to reaffirm the eternal rights of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Christians to Jerusalem as a key to peace in the region, urging continued support for the Palestinians to realise their legitimate right to independent statehood.

On the sidelines of the summit, His Majesty held several meetings with heads of state and representatives of countries participating in the event.

Talks during the gatherings mainly focused on bilateral ties between the Kingdom and their respective countries and the latest regional developments, in addition to means to reach solutions to regional crises and restore stability and security in the Middle East. 

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