GCC states committed to unity, keen on further coordination

KUWAIT, 6th December, 2017 (WAM) — The 38th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, which ended in Kuwait on Tuesday 5th December, expressed the GCC Countries’ commitment to unity and the desire to attain further coordination and integration across all fields.

The Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, quoted the summit’s final communique as saying that the GCC leaders were committed to the Gulf Cooperation Council’s goals and were convinced that it serves their peoples’ hopes and aspirations.

They reiterated support of proposals, including that of the late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to transform the bloc from a council to a union, to build a joint defence mechanism and for economic integration.

Separately, the session expressed “extreme condemnation” of the Houthi attacks on the holy city of Mecca and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, the former by Iranian-made ballistic missiles.

It described the Houthi group’s recent killing of Yemen’s former leader Ali Abdallah Saleh as a “tragic development,” saying GCC leaders are following up on the matter with “anxiety.”

It also condemned Iran’s destabilising activities and intervention in the internal affairs of neighbouring nations and its support of “terrorist groups” in Bahrain.

The Council reiterated its firm position and its previous resolutions on the condemnation of Iran’s continued occupation of the three UAE’s islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, renewing its support for the sovereign rights of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, territorial waters, airspace and continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone of the three islands as an integral part of the territory of the United Arab Emirates.

The Council also said that any decisions, practices or actions carried out by Iran on the three islands are null and void and do not change any historical and legal facts that are based on the right of the UAE to sovereignty over its three islands. It called on Iran to respond to the UAE’s efforts to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or recourse to the International Court of Justice.

The GCC stressed that Iran should cease its support of terrorist groups that have a destablising impact on the region, particularly the Gulf.

The participating delegations also expressed support for the agreement signed between the GCC and the US, which aims to block the funding of terrorism through the launch of a centre with this goal.

The summit also condemned the deadly attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Al-Arish in northern Sinai.

On Palestinian affairs, the document reiterated support for Palestinian statehood with its capital inJerusalem, according to the 1967 borders, the Arab Peace Initiative and international law. It also rejected Israeli practices that breach international rules and regulations and aim to alter the legal, diplomatic or political status of Jerusalem.

The Supreme Council welcomed the generous initiative of the State of Kuwait to host an international donor conference in 2018 to support the stability and reconstruction of areas in Iraq liberated from the so-called Daesh.

It called for positive international cooperation in this conference, asserting the importance of the return of refugees to their homeland under the international organisations concerned in coordination with the Iraqi government.

The Council directed the GCC Secretariat to begin preparations for a comprehensive strategic dialogue to develop the GCC’s relations with Iraq in all political, security, economic, cultural and other fields.

On Syria, the Supreme Council reaffirmed its firm positions and resolutions on the Syrian crisis and the Geneva resolution, as well as UN Security Council resolution 2254, which provides for the establishment of a Transitional Authority for the administration of the country, the drafting of a new constitution for Syria and the preparation of elections for a new future for the Syrian people.

The Supreme Council welcomed the results of the second expanded meeting of the Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian opposition held in Riyadh last November, which united the positions of the opposition parties and agreed on the establishment of a negotiating team to participate in the Geneva meetings to contribute to achieving the aspirations of the brotherly Syrian people.

The final communique also stressed its support for the mediation efforts of the United Nations and its envoy to Syria, Stefan de Mistura.

The Supreme Council stressed the importance of working on the return of refugees and displaced Syrians to their cities and villages under international supervision and rejected any attempt to bring about demographic changes in Syria.

On Lebanon, the Supreme Council affirmed the GCC’s positions on the importance of maintaining stability of Lebanon, reiterating its commitment to Lebanon’s security, stability and territorial integrity and supporting its efforts in confronting the so-called Daesh and other terrorist organisations.

The Supreme Council reaffirmed its rejection of the role of Iran and the Hezbollah terrorist organisation in destabilising Lebanon, weakening its political and security institutions, breaking up national unity and fuelling sectarian conflicts.

The Supreme Council reiterated its desire for the security, stability and unity of the Libyan territories and its support for the efforts exerted to confront the so-called Daesh and other terrorist organisations.

The Council stressed its support for the role of the United Nations in reaching a political solution to the Libyan crisis, praising the efforts to achieve this of Dr. Ghassan Salama, the UN Secretary General’s envoy.

On the issue of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Supreme Council condemned the ethnic cleansing, massacres and brutal attacks against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, their expulsion from their homes and the systematic destruction of their villages, reiterating its call on the international community to condemn these policies and to act urgently to stop these acts.

The Supreme Council expressed its deep appreciation and gratitude to His Highness the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his warm welcome and hospitality, expressing satisfaction that the next meeting of the summit will be held in Oman next year.

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