37th Summit Issues Final Communique

Manama, – The two-day 37th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States, held in Manama today under chairmanship of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain issued its final communique.

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Deputy Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said; HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al -Thani, HH the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah participated in the summit.

GCC Secretary General HE Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani also participated in the meeting.

1- The supreme council congratulated the King of Bahrain on assuming the chairmanship of the current summit, lauding the points he raised during his opening speech and his keenness on activating the march of the GCC in all fields.

2- The supreme council expressed appreciation and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts he and his government exerted during assuming the presidency of the GCC former session, citing the achievements reached.

3- The supreme council congratulated King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain on being awarded the UN industrial development prize in recognition of his vision in the developmental fields which contributed in achieving sustainable development in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the success of the Bahraini model in business pioneering and enabling women to take their role in the economic fields.

4- The supreme council expressed profound condolence and sympathy for the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, recalling his efforts in the establishment of the GCC and supportive positions for its joint march and enhancing it in all fields, appealing to Allah Almighty to bestow mercy upon his soul.

5- The supreme council praised the statement issued by the first meeting of the Economic Affairs and Development Commission, including the basic steps and priorities enjoying interest and direct follow-up and match with the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

6- The supreme council lauded the outcome of the meeting held between the GCC leaders and the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May on 6 and 7 of December in Bahrain which reviewed the latest regional and international developments of mutual concern and announced a strategic partnership between the GCC and UK.

7- The supreme council followed with profound concern and strong denunciation the targeting by Houthi militias and Saleh of Makkah using a ballistic missile in flagrant negligence of the city’s sanctity for the whole Islamic nation, a move considered by the Supreme council as leading to tampering the security of the Islamic Ummah, spreading sectarian sedition and supporting terrorism in the region. This move confirms the rejection of the Houthi militias and Saleh of the world community relevant resolutions and endeavors being exerted to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis. The council lauded the denunciation campaign orchestrating the Islamic countries against this act of terror against Makkah and their support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia towards whatever procedure it might take to protect the sacred place, security and the country’s borders, lauding the work of the Arab Coalition forces in defense of legitimacy in Yemen.

8- The council congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on being re-elected member of the Human Rights Council by the UN general assembly for three years, starting 2017, confirming that the move is embodying the international status the Kingdom is enjoying based on its consolidation of principles of justice, equality and protection of human rights as well as its efforts towards world just issues.

9- The council congratulated president-elect Donald Trump on winning the U.S. presidential elections, looking forward to enhancing the historic and strategic relations between the U.S. and the region and wishing the U.S. friendly people steady progress and prosperity under the new president’s leadership.

10- The council followed up with great concern the abduction of a number of Qatari citizens in southern Iraq who entered the country with official entry visas and upon coordination with the Qatari embassy in Doha. The council considered this terrorist act as a flagrant breach of the international law and violation of human rights in addition to being contrary to the rules of Islamic religion and harms the relations between Arab brothers. The council expresses solidarity with the Qatari government and supports whatever measure it might take to secure their return and requests the Iraqi government to spare no effort to secure their release.

11- The council congratulated Antonio Goiters on being selected as new Secretary General of the United nations, wishing him success, expressing thanks to outgoing predecessor Ban Ki Moon for the sincere efforts he exerted since assuming his job as secretary general of the UN.(

12- The council expressed appreciation of the outcome of the 16th consultative meeting of the council held on May 31, 2016, citing its decision which contribute to boosting the joint march and enhancing security and stability of the region.

13- The council reviewed the progress of implementing the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on enhancing the GCC joint action according to the supreme council resolution’s 36th session held on 9-10 December 2015.

14- The council was briefed on the result of consultations on implementing the supreme council’s resolution in its 36th session on the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to transfer from the phase of cooperation to the phase of union, and the instructions given by the supreme council to the ministerial council as well as the chairman of the specialized commission to continue the efforts of transferring from the phase of cooperation to union and completing the necessary measures for that and forward the outcomes to the next summit.

15- The council underscored the importance of the Kingdom vision 2030 and the national transformation plan as well as similar plans in the GCC countries, lauding the future look of investing the Kingdom’s status, abilities, wealth and capacity to achieve better future for the country and its people, confirming that the vision and plan would both contribute to supporting the joint march of the GCC and achieve their projected integrity in all fields.

16- The council lauded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates signing of an agreement on establishing a coordination council between the two countries, emanating from their keenness to consolidate the fraternal ties and their wish to intensify bilateral cooperation through continuing consultation and coordination, noting that such new move is considered an addition tributary of the joint action among the GCC member countries.

19- The council reviewed a number of reports on the routine common integration march including the following: 1- progress of GCC monetary council 2- GCC railway project 3- GCC common market 4- Water network and water comprehensive strategy 5- implementation of education-related resolutions of the supreme council 6- GCC preventive plan to combat contagious diseases Common military work: 20- The council was briefed on a report submitted by the joint defense council as an outcome of its meeting held in Riyadh in November 2016 on the joint defense field, and endorsed them 21- The council expressed satisfaction over the achievements done within the implementation of defense integration among the GCC countries aiming to build a strong partnership and establish an effective defense system to confront the different challenges and threats as well as the steps taken to establish a unified military leadership and instructed that all remaining procedure to have it completed be taken Security Coordination and Cooperation: 22- The council lauded the success of the Arab Gulf Security military drill (1), hosted by Bahrain in November 2016, citing the importance of such activity to enhance security cooperation among member states 23- The council endorsed the interior ministers decisions they took at their 35th meeting held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on November 29, 2016.

Combating of Terrorism: 24- The council confirmed the GCC firm positions towards terrorism and extremism and their rejection of all their forms and kinds as well as their motives and justifications whatever their source and urged for working to dry up their source of finance and voice absolute commitment to fight deviant thoughts of the terrorist groups aiming to defame the Islamic religion. The council confirmed its belief that tolerance and co-existence among nations and people are among the most important principles and values constituting the bases of the GCC societies and their treatment with other peoples 25- The council strongly denounced the suicide explosions which took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Ramadan in the vicinity of the prophet’s mosque in Al-madinah Al-Munawarah, Qatif province and city of Jeddah 26- The council lauded the efforts being exerted by the security authorities of Bahrain enabling them to thwart terrorist plots and arrest the members of the terrorist cells tasked to implement the Iranian revolutionary guard and Hezbollah-supported plots targeting a number of sites in Bahrain.

27- The council reiterated its confirmation of considering Hezbollah militias as terrorist organization and confirmed that the GCC states are embarked on taking the necessary measures to implement their decision in this regard based on anti-terror and money laundering combat rules applied in the member states 28- The council welcomed the outcome of the second meeting of the international coalition to combat the terror organization of Daesh, held at Andrews airbase in the vicinity of Washington on July 20, 2016 Legal and Legislative Affairs: 29- The council expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the ninth meeting of the speakers of the shura, representatives, and national assemblies of the GCC member countries, held in Bahrain in November 2016 30- The council expressed profound concern and denunciation of the U.S. congress law called Justice Against Sponsoring Terrorism Act, contrary to all international norms and laws and bases of relations among world member countries and the principle of sovereign immunity, hoping that the U.S. authorities would re-consider this legislation as it would have negative reflections on relations among countries, including the United States, in addition to the international economic harms that might be sustained from it.

Supreme Council Consultative Commission: 31- The council was briefed on the views of the consultative commission on issues it was previously assigned to study as follows: A comprehensive strategy on environmental cooperation among the GCC countries A study on the GCC citizens productivity Enhancing the role of the GCC private sector in investment in agricultural and livestock projects.

and transferred them to specialized ministerial committees. However, it assigned the consultative commission to study the following issues: Importance and hazards of social media networks Role of women in comprehensive development in the GCC Framework and fields of strategic cooperation among the GCC and Africa.(

19- The council reviewed a number of reports on the routine common integration march including the following: 1- progress of GCC monetary council 2- GCC railway project 3- GCC common market 4- Water network and water comprehensive strategy 5- implementation of education-related resolutions of the supreme council 6- GCC preventive plan to combat contagious diseases Common military work: 20- The council was briefed on a report submitted by the joint defense council as an outcome of its meeting held in Riyadh in November 2016 on the joint defense field, and endorsed them 21- The council expressed satisfaction over the achievements done within the implementation of defense integration among the GCC countries aiming to build a strong partnership and establish an effective defense system to confront the different challenges and threats as well as the steps taken to establish a unified military leadership and instructed that all remaining procedure to have it completed be taken Security Coordination and Cooperation: 22- The council lauded the success of the Arab Gulf Security military drill (1), hosted by Bahrain in November 2016, citing the importance of such activity to enhance security cooperation among member states 23- The council endorsed the interior ministers decisions they took at their 35th meeting held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on November 29, 2016.

Combating of Terrorism: 24- The council confirmed the GCC firm positions towards terrorism and extremism and their rejection of all their forms and kinds as well as their motives and justifications whatever their source and urged for working to dry up their source of finance and voice absolute commitment to fight deviant thoughts of the terrorist groups aiming to defame the Islamic religion. The council confirmed its belief that tolerance and co-existence among nations and people are among the most important principles and values constituting the bases of the GCC societies and their treatment with other peoples 25- The council strongly denounced the suicide explosions which took place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Ramadan in the vicinity of the prophet’s mosque in Al-madinah Al-Munawarah, Qatif province and city of Jeddah 26- The council lauded the efforts being exerted by the security authorities of Bahrain enabling them to thwart terrorist plots and arrest the members of the terrorist cells tasked to implement the Iranian revolutionary guard and Hezbollah-supported plots targeting a number of sites in Bahrain.

27- The council reiterated its confirmation of considering Hezbollah militias as terrorist organization and confirmed that the GCC states are embarked on taking the necessary measures to implement their decision in this regard based on anti-terror and money laundering combat rules applied in the member states 28- The council welcomed the outcome of the second meeting of the international coalition to combat the terror organization of Daesh, held at Andrews airbase in the vicinity of Washington on July 20, 2016 Legal and Legislative Affairs: 29- The council expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the ninth meeting of the speakers of the shura, representatives, and national assemblies of the GCC member countries, held in Bahrain in November 2016 30- The council expressed profound concern and denunciation of the U.S. congress law called Justice Against Sponsoring Terrorism Act, contrary to all international norms and laws and bases of relations among world member countries and the principle of sovereign immunity, hoping that the U.S. authorities would re-consider this legislation as it would have negative reflections on relations among countries, including the United States, in addition to the international economic harms that might be sustained from it.

Supreme Council Consultative Commission: 31- The council was briefed on the views of the consultative commission on issues it was previously assigned to study as follows: A comprehensive strategy on environmental cooperation among the GCC countries A study on the GCC citizens productivity Enhancing the role of the GCC private sector in investment in agricultural and livestock projects.

and transferred them to specialized ministerial committees. However, it assigned the consultative commission to study the following issues: Importance and hazards of social media networks Role of women in comprehensive development in the GCC Framework and fields of strategic cooperation among the GCC and Africa.

Strategic dialogues and negotiations: 32. The Supreme Council expressed satisfaction over the tireless efforts of the Ministerial Council and the General Secretariat to strengthen the strategic partnership between GCC countries and a number of countries and international groups, and push for implementing what has been agreed upon in the working groups and joint committees formed for this purpose. It also expressed satisfaction over the progress made in strengthening the strategic partnership with each of Jordan and Morocco.

33. The Supreme Council blessed the resumption of free trade negotiations with China. The council was briefed on progress of negotiation rounds.

Situation in Palestinian territories and developments of Arab-Israeli conflict: 34. The Supreme Council expressed its firm stances towards the issues of the region, particularly the Palestinian Cause, stressing that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace can be achieved only with the complete withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Al-Quds as its capital in accordance with Arab peace initiative and the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.

35. The Supreme Council reaffirmed its support for the French initiative and all Arab and international efforts to broaden participation to solve the Palestinian Cause and speed up holding of the International Conference on Peace and work on ending Israeli occupation and establishment of an independent State of Palestine with full sovereignty.

36. The Supreme Council stressed that Israeli settlements on the occupied Arab territories are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle in the way of achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

37. The Supreme Council considered that the occupation by Israel of all Arab territories is nullified and void, including the Syrian Golan, stressing that all treaties and laws emphasize the Arab identity of the Golan Heights and the illegality of the Israeli occupation. It welcomed the statement issued by Security Council, which confirmed that any developments by Israel on the Golan should not change the legal situation of the territory. The Council called on the international community to pressure Israel to end its occupation of all occupied Arab territories including the Syrian Golan Heights.

38. The Supreme Council reaffirmed its support for the accession of Palestine to UN as a full member in all regional and international forums.

39. The Supreme Council welcomed the outcome of the vote of the Executive Board of the Organization of (UNESCO) in Paris on October 18, 2016, about the historic decision, which stated that there is no Jewish religious link between Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, and considered them as pure Islamic heritage. The Council stressed that the decision was expressing the Arab Palestinian right firm supported by law and the resolutions of international legitimacy and the holy sites in Al-Quds and the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque, and embodied a truth supported by evidences and the effects of history and ancient civilization. Asserting the invalidity of the Israeli allegations and fabrications.

40. The Supreme Council welcomed the adoption of UN Human Rights Council at its 31st session which was held in Geneva on March 25, 2016 of positive decisions on Palestine, and stressed that this is an important step in Human Rights Council with respect to settlement and the rest of the crimes of the occupation.

Iranian occupation of the three islands of the United Arab Emirates: 41. The Supreme Council reiterated its firm stance stressed by all the previous communiques, rejecting the continuation of Iran’s occupation of the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa of the United Arab Emirates, stressing that: 1. Supporting the right of sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and the territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands as an integral part of the territory of the United Arab Emirates.

2. considering that any decisions or practices or actions taken by Iran over the three islands are nullified and void and do not change anything of historical and legal facts related to the sovereign right of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands.

3. Iran is invited to respond to the United Arab Emirates calls to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or report to the International Court of Justice.

Relations with Iran: 42. The Supreme Council expressed its total rejection of the continuation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the GCC countries and the region, and called for full commitment to fundamentals and the basic principles and foundations based on the principle of good neighborliness and respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use or threat of force, expressing rejection of statements by some officials in Iran, against the GCC countries and interference in their internal affairs and a violation of their sovereignty and independence, and an attempt to sow discord and inciting sectarian strife among its citizens. The Council demanded Iran to cease immediately such practices, which constitute a violation of the sovereignty and independence of the GCC countries, and the commitment to the principles of good neighborliness, and laws and international norms and conventions, in order to ensure preservation of the region’s security and stability.

43. The Supreme Council stressed the need for Iran to change its policy in the region, so as to abide by international conventions and treaties and not to embrace and harboring terrorist groups on its territory, including Hezbollah militia and support of terrorist militias in the region, and not to ignite sectarian strife in region.

44. The Supreme Council affirmed the contents of the letter addressed by the United Arab Emirates to the President of session (71) of the General Assembly of the United Nations, signed by ten Arab countries, in response to the false allegations and false fabrications made by the representative of Iran to United Nations. The message expressed concern about Iran’s continuation to pursue expansionary policies and to play a negative role in the region and its constant interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

45. The Supreme Council denounced the attempts of Iran aimed at politicizing the Hajj aimed to offend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, calling on Iranian officials to refrain from such actions and attitudes, and cooperate with the official authorities in Saudi Arabia to organize the Hajj season, to allow Iranian pilgrims to perform rituals. the Supreme Council expressed its regret at the failure of the Iran’s Hajj Organization delegation to sign minutes arrangements to enable Iranian pilgrims to perform Hajj with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, blaming the Iranian government for depriving their citizens of the Hajj last year. The Council expressed its appreciation for the efforts and facilities offered by the Saudi Government and people in order to take care of the pilgrims and Umrah performers and visitors to the holy places in Saudi Arabia.

46. The Supreme Council expressed its condemnation for the continuation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region, including Bahrain, and by supporting terrorism, training of terrorists and the smuggling of weapons, explosives and inciting sectarian strife and continuing statements at various levels to disturb security and order and stability, which is incompatible with the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs according to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.(

Source: Qatar News Agency