GCC un­der­scores closer co­op­er­a­tion, in­te­gra­tion Fi­nal com­mu­nique stresses boost­ing eco­nomic, mil­i­tary co­or­di­na­tion

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

The GCC lead­ers have stressed the sig­nif­i­cance of con­tin­u­ously prop­ping up and beef­ing co­op­er­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion among the GCC mem­ber states, lead­ing up to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of res­o­lu­tions tar­get­ing full equal treat­ment among Gulf cit­i­zens in view of joint Gulf mar­ket fields.

In a fi­nal com­mu­nique is­sued af­ter their 37th sum­mit in Manama, the GCC lead­ers said it is im­per­a­tive to share credit in­for­ma­tion as per a short-term plan and a com­pre­hen­sive frame­work for a Gulf credit fa­cil­i­ta­tion ex­change mech­a­nism.

They also agreed to build a GCC pay­ment sys­tem, and en­trust Gulf cen­tral banks to own, run and fi­nance the plan by means of es­tab­lish­ing an in­de­pen­dent com­pany. They ap­proved an anti-fraud bill as a bind­ing law, ac­cord­ing to the con­clud­ing state­ment.

They fur­ther em­pha­sized that the GCC mem­ber states have to com­mit to im­ple­ment­ing a Gulf rail­way project, send­ing it to the eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee for set­ting out a nec­es­sary mech­a­nism in this re­gard.

It is also nec­es­sary to fur­ther pro­mote and de­velop co­op­er­a­tion and co­or­di­na­tion among the GCC mem­ber states in the mil­i­tary field, said the com­mu­nique, while ap­pre­ci­at­ing progress in the domain of mu­tual de­fen­sive co­op­er­a­tion in the face of var­i­ous chal­lenges and threats.

On ter­ror­ism, they re­it­er­ated their un­shake­able po­si­tion of re­jec­tion and con­dem­na­tion of all forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions of ter­ror­ism, but em­pha­sized that more ef­forts should be ex­erted to stop ter­ror-fi­nanc­ing sources and to fight at­tempts to dis­tort the im­age of Is­lam.

In this re­gard, they sharply de­nounced re­cent ex­plo­sions and bomb­ings in Saudi Ara­bia as heinous crimes that have noth­ing to do with the tol­er­ant re­li­gion of Is­lam or val­ues and prin­ci­ples of hu­man­ity and ethics. They reaf­firmed their sup­port to all re­gional and in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to fight the so-called Is­lamic State (IS) and all other ter­ror­ist net­works and or­ga­ni­za­tions in Syria, Iraq and other re­gions.

On the re­cent US Jus­tice Against Spon­sors of Ter­ror Act (JASTA), the con­fer­ees con­demned the law as a breach of the fixed prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law, mainly the prin­ci­ple of equal­ity among the states.

They lashed out at the US act as a vi­o­la­tion of the ba­sics and prin­ci­ples of the re­la­tion­ship among the states and prin­ci­ple of sov­er­eign im­mu­nity, call­ing on Wash­ing­ton to re­think about this leg­is­la­tion due to its neg­a­tive re­flec­tions on the re­la­tion­ship among the states.

How­ever, they con­grat­u­lated US pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump, hop­ing that his­toric and strate­gic re­la­tions be­tween the GCC mem­ber states and the US would be fur­ther pro­moted and ce­mented dur­ing Trump’s term of of­fice. They also vowed to work with him to en­sure se­cu­rity, peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion and the en­tire world.

They con­grat­u­lated An­to­nio Guter­res on hav­ing be­ing elected new sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the United Na­tions (UN), re­it­er­at­ing sup­port to UN ef­forts to main­tain world se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the com­mu­nique.

More­over, the GCC lead­ers voiced much sat­is­fac­tion with fer­vent ef­forts ex­erted to push for­ward strate­gic part­ner­ships of the GCC coun­tries with Jor­dan and Morocco, re­flect­ing fra­ter­nal close re­la­tions.

The lead­ers also blessed the re­cent re­sump­tion of free trade ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the GCC and the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China (PRC). On meet­ings held in Manama be­tween Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) lead­ers and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, the con­fer­ees highly com­mended the out­comes of GCC-UK talks which fo­cused on the lat­est re­gional and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ments.

The hailed the an­nounced strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the GCC and UK, which re­flected his­tor­i­cal dis­tin­guished re­la­tions be­tween both sides and set out frame­works of bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion with a view to reach­ing closer ties in all fields.

On Pales­tine, the GCC lead­ers re­it­er­ated that to­tal, just and ev­er­last­ing peace could be reached in the Mid­dle East re­gion only when Is­rael with­draws from all Arab ter­ri­to­ries it oc­cu­pied in 1967. They reaf­firmed sup­port to an in­de­pen­dent Pales­tinian state with Jerusalem as its cap­i­tal in line with the Arab peace ini­tia­tive and rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional le­git­i­macy res­o­lu­tions, the con­clud­ing state­ment added.

They also voiced sup­port to the French ini­tia­tive, to­gether with other Arab and in­ter­na­tional ef­forts, to find a so­lu­tion to the Pales­tinian state and to hold an early Mid­dle East peace con­fer­ence. The GCC lead­ers fur­ther called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to put more pres­sure on Is­rael to end its oc­cu­pa­tion of all Arab ter­ri­to­ries, in­clud­ing the Syr­ian Golan Heights, and ap­pre­ci­ated a re­cent UNESCO res­o­lu­tion rec­og­niz­ing Al-Aqsa Mosque as a purely Is­lamic site.

On the Ira­nian-oc­cu­pied three is­lands of the UAE, they re­it­er­ated their re­jec­tion of the oc­cu­pa­tion of the three is­lands, and sup­ported anew the UAE’s sovereignty over the is­lands as an in­te­gral part of this GCC mem­ber state.

In this re­gard, they called on Iran to pos­i­tively re­spond to UAE ef­forts to re­solve the is­sue through di­rect ne­go­ti­a­tions or the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice (ICJ), while de­nounc­ing Iran’s in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of the GCC mem­ber states and the whole re­gion. They also urged Tehran to re­vise its poli­cies in the re­gion by means of honor­ing rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions and treaties, and stop har­bor­ing ter­ror­ist groups, in­clud­ing Hezbol­lah, on its soil.

They em­pha­sized that Iran should abide by its nu­clear with the G5+1 in July 2015, urg­ing the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) to ap­ply an ef­fec­tive mech­a­nism to ver­ify the agree­ment is put in place.

Syria

Re­gard­ing Syria, the state­ment re­it­er­ated the GCC’s un­wa­ver­ing sup­port to main­tain­ing Syria’s unity, sta­bil­ity and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, while con­demn­ing non­stop airstrikes by the air­craft of the Syr­ian regime and their al­lies on the Syr­ian city of Aleppo.

The GCC lead­ers re­newed back­ing to all ef­forts ex­erted by UN En­voy for Syria Staffan de Mis­tura to find a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the Syr­ian cri­sis, and vowed to con­tinue work to ease out the suf­fer­ings of the Syr­ian peo­ple.

On Yemen, the con­fer­ees reaf­firmed full sup­port to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty and in­de­pen­dence and re­jected any at­tempt to in­ter­fere in its do­mes­tic af­fairs, ac­cord­ing to the fi­nal com­mu­nique. They un­der­scored the sig­nif­i­cance of find­ing a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the Ye­meni cri­sis in line with the Gulf Ini­tia­tive and its Ex­ec­u­tive Mech­a­nism, Out­put of the Com­pre­hen­sive Na­tional Di­a­logue, Riyadh Con­fer­ence and UNSC Res­o­lu­tion 2016.

In this con­text, they voiced much ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Kuwait for host­ing UN-fa­cil­i­tated peace ne­go­ti­a­tions among Ye­meni po­lit­i­cal ri­vals, which be­gan on April 21st and wound up on Au­gust 7th, 2016. But, they con­demned the for­ma­tion of a new gov­ern­ment by Yemen’s Houthis and for­mer pres­i­dent Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh as a se­ri­ous blow to on­go­ing ef­forts to find a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the Ye­meni prob­lem. On Iraq, they re­newed keen­ness on main­tain­ing this Arab coun­try’s unity, sovereignty, in­de­pen­dence and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity, while ve­he­mently re­ject­ing in­ter­fer­ence in its in­ter­nal af­fairs. They voiced to­tal sup­port to the Iraqi gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to lib­er­ate Mo­sul from the grip of the so-called Is­lamic State (IS), em­pha­siz­ing that IS-con­trolled Iraqi ar­eas should be re­taken only by Iraqi army and po­lice forces.

How­ever, they de­nounced crimes com­mit­ted against civil­ians in the lib­er­ated ar­eas on a sec­tar­ian ba­sis, call­ing on the Iraqi gov­ern­ment to live up to its re­spon­si­bil­ity by pro­tect­ing civil­ians and en­sur­ing a safe re­turn of in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons. Re­gard­ing Libya, the GCC lead­ers, ac­cord­ing to the con­clud­ing state­ment is­sued af­ter their sum­mit in Manama, re­it­er­ated back­ing to UN ef­forts to en­sure this Arab’s se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity.

Fi­nally, they ex­pressed much thanks and ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Bahraini King Ha­mad bin Isa and Bahraini gov­ern­ment for warm wel­come and hospi­tal­ity dur­ing the 37th ses­sion of the GCC Sum­mit. They also wel­comed His High­ness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s in­vi­ta­tion for host­ing the next 38th ses­sion in Kuwait in 2017. His High­ness the Amir had stated ear­lier yes­ter­day that the res­o­lu­tions of the GCC Sum­mit will help to con­sol­i­date the bloc’s joint ac­tion and aid in re­al­iz­ing the peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions for fur­ther se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity. This state­ment came dur­ing His High­ness the Amir speech to the clos­ing ses­sion of the GCC sum­mit.

MANAMA: A hand­out pic­ture pro­vided by the Saudi Royal Palace yes­ter­day shows Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) lead­ers at­tend­ing a GCC sum­mit in the Bahraini cap­i­tal Manama. — AFP

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