The United Arab Emirates has said it is forming a new military and economic committee with Saudi Arabia separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The move comes with Kuwait hosting a two-day summit of the GCC, which is riven by divisions after Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties with Qatar earlier this year.
The committee "will co-ordinate 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 was 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 gas-rich emirate of supporting Islamist extremists and of being too close to Shiite Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival. Qatar denies the allegations.
Mediation efforts led by Kuwait have failed to resolve what is the worst crisis to hit the Gulf Cooperation Council in its 36-year history, casting serious doubts over the future of the six-state alliance.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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