Amir leaves for Bahrain to at­tend GCC sum­mit

Sum­mit is held amid chal­lenges: Zayani

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will leave for Bahrain to­day lead­ing a Kuwaiti of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tion to at­tend the 37th Sum­mit of the GCC Supreme Coun­cil and GCC lead­ers’ meet­ing with Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May.

The sum­mit is held amid quite sig­nif­i­cant re­gional chal­lenges, af­firmed Ab­dul­latif AlZayani, the GCC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral. These po­lit­i­cal, se­cu­rity and eco­nomic chal­lenges war­rant sol­i­dar­ity and co­op­er­a­tion among all the GCC mem­ber states and re­lent­less ac­tion to at­tain merger among them, Zayani said in an in­ter­view broad­cast by the of­fi­cial Bahrain News Agency (BNA) yes­ter­day.

He in­di­cated that agenda of the GCC sum­mit, due on Tues­day, in­cludes var­i­ous files re­lated to po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, se­cu­rity and so­cial co­op­er­a­tion, as well as ex­am­in­ing re­ports filed by the Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil, com­mit­tees and the Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat.

Cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions con­sti­tute some of the ma­jor chal­lenges fac­ing the GCC states, he said. The GCC coun­tries had al­ready taken steps at this level, en­dors­ing the joint eco­nomic treaty, set­ting up the com­mon mar­ket and the cus­toms union.

Elab­o­rat­ing, Zayani re-af­firmed the GCC states’ re­solve to face se­cu­rity threats. “They will not hes­i­tate to take all nec­es­sary mea­sures to safe­guard their se­cu­rity, sta­bil­ity and de­fend their sovereignty and in­ter­ests,” he stressed.

The GCC coun­tries have taken an un­wa­ver­ing ap­proach for up­grad­ing their se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary po­ten­tials for de­fense pur­poses and safe­guard­ing achieve­ments that have been made through­out the years, Al-Zayani added.

He re­jected, anew, for­eign in­ter­ven­tion in the re­gional coun­tries’ af­fairs for such med­dling con­tra­dicts with in­ter­na­tional laws and threat­ens the Gulf se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity, not­ing the UN prime role in this re­gard.

On the Syr­ian refugees’ plight, he un­der­scored the GCC coun­tries’ ef­forts at the pub­lic and pri­vate levels to help them, not­ing that the GCC states along with other coun­tries had pledged more than $7 bil­lion to aid the Syr­i­ans. Kuwait had hosted three in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences group­ing coun­tries pledg­ing sup­port for the Syr­i­ans af­fected by the war. A fourth one was held in Lon­don.

Re­gard­ing Ye­men, Al-Zayani said the GCC coun­tries had given sub­stan­tial fi­nan­cial sup­port for the le­git­i­mate govern­ment to help it de­liver re­lief sup­plies to those in need in the war-stricken na­tion. For its part, Saudi Ara­bia had estab­lished King Sal­man Cen­ter for Re­lief and Hu­man­i­tar­ian Aid to co­or­di­nate hu­man­i­tar­ian op­er­a­tions in Ye­men, with a spe­cial bud­get es­ti­mated at one bil­lion Saudi riyals.

Bahrain’s For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khal­i­fah yes­ter­day ex­pressed con­fi­dence that the sum­mit will come up with res­o­lu­tions to pro­mote the pan-GCC in­te­gra­tion, and joint ac­tion. These will be topped with car­ry­ing on with im­ple­men­ta­tion of Saudi King Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz Al Saud’s ‘Vi­sion 2030’ for ac­cel­er­at­ing the pace of co­op­er­a­tion among the mem­ber states, and en­hanc­ing the bloc’s joint ac­tion, Sheikh Khalid Al Khal­i­fah said in a press state­ment.

He noted that the GCC Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil in 2016 ap­proved mea­sures for the com­ple­tion of the Monarch’s wise vi­sion, and the lead­ers en­dorsed the for­ma­tion of a joint com­mis­sion to re­ac­ti­vate eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment.

The Bahraini chief diplomat pointed to the piv­otal role the GCC mem­ber states play on the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional scenes. The 37th Sum­mit will be a good chance to con­sol­i­date this role, and fur­ther boost se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the region, to main­tain unity, de­vel­op­ment, and pros­per­ity in the region.

Con­clud­ing the state­ment, Sheikh Khalid Al Khal­i­fah praised the Saudi King’s pres­i­dency of the 36th Sum­mit held in Riyadh in De­cem­ber 2015, which has helped achieve re­mark­able steps for the GCC march, to con­tinue with strong res­o­lute in the Manama sum­mit till the bloc re­al­izes the as­pired in­te­gra­tion and unity.

In the mean­time, MPs of the Bahraini Coun­cil of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives have af­firmed the im­por­tance of the up­com­ing GCC Sum­mit in fac­ing the ris­ing po­lit­i­cal, se­cu­rity and eco­nomic ten­sion in the region. The MPs agreed in var­i­ous state­ments that the cur­rent un­sta­ble con­di­tions in the Arab World, mainly the es­ca­la­tion of ter­ror­ism and the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the Gulf coun­tries due to the drop in oil prices, re­quire the GCC states to unite.

Creat­ing unity be­tween the GCC coun­tries will prevent any outer in­ter­ven­tion in the Gulf’s own is­sues, said MP Nasser Al-Qaseer. The Gulf states have the abil­ity to be­come one of the top eco­nomic pow­ers, as they pos­sess huge fi­nan­cial abil­i­ties, strong in­fra­struc­ture and op­por­tu­ni­ties for at­tract­ing for­eign in­vest­ments, he added.

MP Mo­ham­mad Al-Amadi said mean­while that the GCC ci­ti­zens are look­ing for­ward for the out­come of the 37th sum­mit, hop­ing the lead­ers would take mea­sures to cre­ate a Gulf union to face the grow­ing chal­lenges and threats in the region. Sharing one lan­guage is a key fac­tor to cre­ate a strong eco­nomic union, he said.

On this mat­ter, he men­tioned the suc­cess­ful ex­pe­ri­ence of the Euro­pean Union (EU), de­spite coun­tries of dif­fer­ent lan­guages and back­grounds. Mean­while, MP Ja­mal Da­woud noted the im­por­tance of dis­cussing means of re­solv­ing the un­em­ploy­ment is­sues among youth through ex­e­cut­ing joint-GCC eco­nomic pro­jects.


In the mean­time, Bahraini Am­bas­sador to Saudi Ara­bia Sheikh Hu­moud bin Ab­dul­lah Al Khal­ifa said that the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) coun­tries are head­ing to­wards a level of unity and fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. He fur­ther stressed the im­por­tance of the 37th GCC Sum­mit to be held in Riyadh to­mor­row, amidst the ris­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and se­cu­rity ten­sion in the region. The am­bas­sador hoped the sum­mit will re­sult in es­tab­lish­ing the sought and the long-awaited Gulf union to face the chal­lenges and threats and boost econ­omy among the GCC states. —KUNA

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

GCC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ab­dul­latif Al-Zayani

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