GCC foreign ministers meet in Jeddah, welcome Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ to build King Abdullah atomic energy city

GCC ministers issue communiqué asserting national principles

Report highlights Saudi Arabia’s role in enhancing GCC march

The 115th session of the Ministerial Council of Gulf Cooperation Council held a meeting that was presided by Kuwait's Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister and head of the current session of the council Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Alsalim Alsabah.

The session was attended by foreign ministers of the GCC and Secretary General of the GCC Abdulrahman bin Hamad Ala'ateyah.

The Saudi delegation to the meeting was led by Prince Saud Alfaisal, the Foreign Minister.

At the end of this session, a press release was issued detailing positions on many GCC, regional and international issues.

The press release stated that the ministerial council welcomed the meetings held between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and a number of Iraqi leaders with the aim of boosting the peace process and Iraqi national reconciliation for Iraq to return as an effective member of its Arab and Islamic surrounding and live in peace with its neighbors.

On terrorism, the press release reiterated renunciation of terrorism and extremism.

On Iran, the council commended efforts by Turkey and Brazil to help reach a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear program.

On other issues, the council reiterated positions concerning Yemen, the Palestinian cause, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia.

GCC foreign ministers formed a standing ministerial committee Sunday tasked with implementing the Economic Treaty among the GCC states, specifically regarding integration of stock markets, unifying financial policies and systems as well as completing the establishment of the common market.

The ministers, in their final communiqué following their 115th meeting in this Red Sea city, noted that the committee would consist of chairmen of boards of bodies organizing financial markets.

The meeting was chaired by Kuwait Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.

The ministers, according to the final communiqué, reiterated rejection of all forms of terrorism and extremism, praising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states' measures to fighting terrorism.

They called on the UN to establish an international center with a mandate of combating terrorism through exchange of information and expertise.

The top diplomats supported sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the Greater and Lesser Tonbs and Abu Moussa islands, which have been occupied by Iran since early 1970.

They called on Iran to heed to repeated calls to solve this issue through direct negotiations with the UAE or seek international arbitration, noted the communiqué.

They said relations between the GCC and Iran were based on good neighborliness, non-interfering in internal affairs and solving conflicts via peaceful means.

The GCC foreign ministers welcomed all international efforts to addressing the Iranian nuclear file peacefully and in line with international legitimacy to ultimately clearing the Middle East region from weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and nuclear arms.

The ministers, however, asserted the right of countries in the region to using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in line with international agreements and under IAEA supervision.

On the Middle East, the foreign ministers condemned the Israeli measures to change demographic structure of occupied Palestinian territories and the judaizing of occupied Jerusalem.

They called on the international community to live up to its responsibility to halting the Israeli measures, including the expansion of settlements in occupied territories, in order to pave way for the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle, the roadmap and Arab peace initiative.

The ministers called on the Palestinian factions to iron out their differences and unite ranks, forming a government of national unity to enable the Palestinian people to regain their rights and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The just and comprehensive peace will be achieved when Israel withdraw from all Arab territories it occupied in 1967, said the final communiqué.

On Iraq, the foreign ministers voiced respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Iraq. They hoped a government of national unity would be formed rapidly.

The ministers called on Iraq to fully comply with all UN resolutions related to the 1990 invasion, and urged the UN to continue endeavors to know whereabouts of Kuwaiti and third-national prisoners and missing persons, as well as returning the national archives of the State of Kuwait.

The GCC ministers supported the stability and security of Lebanon, voiced solidarity with Sudan and rejected all measures by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, and called for immediate cessation of hostilities in Somalia.

The ministers, on the other hand, extended full support to Qatar's bid to hosting the 2022 World Cup.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday supported the efforts of Turkey and Brazil to find a peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear standoff with the West. It also emphasized the right of countries in the region to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes within the framework of international agreements.

In a final communiqué issued by GCC foreign ministers following their meeting in Jeddah, the group emphasized the need to keep the Middle East - including Israel - free of nuclear and mass destructive weapons.

"The ministers praised the efforts of Turkey and Brazil to help reach a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear program within the framework of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and related UN Security Council resolutions," the communiqué said.

Iran signed an agreement on May 17 to send uranium abroad for enrichment after mediation talks in Tehran with Turkish and Brazilian leaders. Under the deal Iran would ship 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey, in return for fuel for a research reactor.

The GCC meeting denounced all forms of terrorism and urged the international community to establish a global counterterrorism center to exchange information and expertise in the field.

The ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE supported Doha's bid for World Cup 2022 and said Qatar has all the capabilities to organize the event. They also praised Bahrain for showing readiness to host the first GCC Games.

The meeting backed the UAE over its island row with Iran and urged Tehran to respond positively to Abu Dhabi's overtures to settle the issue either through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice.

The ministers agreed to hold a special meeting on June 22 in Manama to discuss Bahrain's vision on developing the GCC before presenting the proposal to GCC leaders when they meet in Abu Dhabi in December for their annual summit.

The ministers set up a permanent committee of GCC capital market regulators to integrate the market, unify policies and regulations and achieve the requirements of Gulf Common Market.

The GCC urged Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories, which it occupied in 1967 in order to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. It denounced Israel's plan to deport 10,000 Palestinians and construct more settlements in Arab territory.

Secretary General of the GCC Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah asserted Tuesday on GCC's history and all time cohesiveness throughout the years since its establishment to achieve integration and unity.

Al-Attiyah made the statement in a ceremony marking the GCC's 29th Anniversary which was sponsored by Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz and attended by Saudi high ranking officials, GCC diplomatic missions, Arab and friendly nations.

Al-Attiyah added that GCC has surpassed a coordination period and heading toward integration during its third decade.

The GCC Chief noted that the GCC has become a vital bloc with high transparency and strategic power both regionally and internationally.

Al-Attiyah renewed commitment by GCC countries toward regional and international issues including support for the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its three occupied islands as an integral part of the UAE, in addition to calling on Iran to respond to efforts exerted by UAE and the international community to resolve such dispute through direct negotiations or through an International Court of Justice.

Among other things, the GCC Chief cited various achievements, agreements, and cooperation between GCC countries throughout the years.