GCC strong, cohesive bloc praised

Riyadh: Gulf Cooperation Council leaders meeting at a summit in Riyadh underlined the “strength, cohesion and robustness” of the unified bloc, saying they “stand together” in the face of threats to the region.

Among the matters discussed was the Palestinian issue, regarded “fundamental” to both Arabs and Muslims, read the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit final communique, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The six member states outlined their “support for the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over all the Palestinian territories, occupied since June 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, international references and decisions of the international legitimacy.”

Regarding relations with Iran, the document urged Tehran’s non-interference in the internal affairs of its Gulf neighbors and its compliance with the United Nations Charter and international law.

It welcomed the legitimate Yemeni government formation, and the commencement of its role from the provisional capital of Aden, in implementation of the Riyadh agreement in service of the people of Yemen.

The GCC highlighted the importance of preserving the territorial integrity, sovereignty, Arab identity, social fabric and national unity of Iraq.

It also reiterated its support of the United Nations Security Council resolution, which referred the issue of Kuwaiti POWs, missing persons, property and the national archive to a UN Mission, tasked with monitoring the affair.

It welcomed the formation of the Constitutional Committee in Syria and the commencement of its role, expressing hope this would enhance efforts made to reach a political solution to the crisis that would eventually fulfil the legitimate people’s aspirations.

It also reiterated backing of the UN envoy to Syria’s role in regards to the matter.

On Lebanon, it stressed the GCC is keen on Lebanon’s security, stability, territorial integrity and unity between all of its components for the greater interest of the country.

Meanwhile, the GCC supports UN efforts to reach a political solution in Libya, based on the Skhirat Agreement, signed between Libyan parties in

December 2015.

On the other hand, it expressed its condemnation of the “brutal attacks and systematic displacement” of the Muslim Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Member countries congratulated Kuwaiti Nayef Al-Hajraf on becoming the new GCC Secretary-General, wishing him luck and success in his role as of April 2020.

They also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s assumption of the G20 chairmanship in December 2019 and its scheduled hosting of the 15th G20 Summit session in November 2020.

It also praised the United Arab Emirates’ plans to host Expo 2020 and Qatar’s successful hosting of the football Arabian Gulf Cup.

Consultations on the ministerial level would continue to transition from the stage of “cooperation to the stage of union,” it added.

GCC committees will also carry out the necessary review of steps related to the formation of a customs union, unified tariffs, value added and selective tax, a joint stock market and combatting harmful practices in international trade.

Means to adopt proposals on the role of women in development, social media networks, areas of strategic cooperation between the GCC and Africa were also discussed.

Other matters which are under review, include human capital and economic sustainability promotion, China’s Belt and Road project and unifying efforts to raise GCC competitiveness in global indicators.

Source: Bahrain News Agency