GCC interior ministers agree to set up Gulf police agency

Ministers adopted proposal to establish permanent security panel concerned with industrial security and protection of vital facilities

Prince Ahmed, leader of the Saudi delegation: The conspiracies and interference we face make it incumbent on us to enhance cooperation to fortify our societies

Scientific and technical research strategy deferred

The 30th Meeting of the Interior Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States was concluded this week in Abu Dhabi.

The Kingdom's delegation to the meeting was headed by Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior.

The GCC Interior Ministers congratulated Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on being selected and appointed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the posts of Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

They also reviewed the course of security coordination and cooperation in light of security developments and events in regional and international arenas as well as their implications on the security and stability of the GCC Member States.

Regarding the fight against terrorism, the GCC Interior Ministers confirmed their fixed stances renouncing all forms of terrorism and extremism.

They also welcomed the launch of the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism in New York that comes as a culmination of a proposal put forward by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during the International Counterterrorism Conference hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in February of 2005.

They also condemned the plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington, describing this act as a flagrant violation of all international laws, conventions and norms.

The GCC Interior Ministers also approved, in principle, the establishment of a GCC police force, provided that the GCC police commanders meet to complete the study of this issue.

The GCC Interior Ministers agreed to set up a joint police force for the GCC, media reports said.

"Security chiefs of member-countries will meet soon to complete studies on all aspects of the force," said a statement issued after the meeting.

The Ministers from the six-nation regional grouping --Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE-- also agreed to set up a permanent security committee to oversee the safety of industries and other vital installations in GCC countries.

"We should also renew the security agreements among the GCC member-countries to cope with new developments," it said.

The meeting, chaired by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, reiterated the solidarity of GCC countries. "The security of Gulf Cooperation Council is a single entity and any threat to the security of a member-country would be considered as a threat to the GCC as a whole," the statement said.

The meeting welcomed the launch of an international counter-terrorism center in New York, which was proposed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during an anti-terror conference in Riyadh in 2005.

"We hope the establishment of the center would contribute to tackling the reasons for terrorism, root out the phenomenon and strengthen global efforts to reinforce world peace and stability," it said.

Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led his country's delegation to the meeting.

Addressing his GCC counterparts, Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz said: 'this meeting is held in light of regional critical and sensitive circumstances, accelerating variables in our region, and concerned threats around us which require that we exert efforts to fortify our societies to face the plots, intrigues and interventions aiming to undermine security and stability.

We have to increase the activation of mechanisms of cooperation and coordination among us to face these situations and challenges, he added.

'Since long time, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has suffered from terrorism in its different forms and was a target of a category of criminals who have lost their way and committed themselves with the devil for the destruction of the capabilities of the country and destabilization of our region, but the Kingdom, with the help of Allah Almighty, was able to confront this oppressive category and its thought, and to foil many of terrorist plots. Not only that, but it was also keen to play a leading role to combat the drug problem which seriously manages to damage the individual and society, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz said.

Even though part of a international and regional coalition to fight terrorism and drugs, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cannot play its role or achieve the desired results individually, he said, adding that the issue necessitates concerted efforts of all us to fight against all threats against the security and homelands.

Meanwhile, the 35th Conference of Arab Police and Security Commanders was opened. The two-day conference is organized by the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers.

The Kingdom's delegation to the conference was headed by Assistant Director General of Public Security for Planning and Development Affairs Maj. Gen. Saleh bin Mohammed Al-Shehri.

The conference will discuss the relation between security and citizenship services in addition to creating a stable security environment that contributes to the economic and human development of Arab countries.

The opening ceremony was attended by Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali bin Saeed Awadh Asiri and a number of Arab security and police commanders.

On the other hand, the Arab Ministers for Higher Education and Scientific Research deferred a proposed review of the Arab Scientific, Technological and Innovation Research Strategy.

Dr. Khalid Al-Anqri, Minister of Higher Education who led the Saudi delegation to the 13th conference which was held at Zayed University, said that the participants have not yet been briefed about the strategy that responds to the specificities of the Arab countries, calling for more time to study the contents to discuss it at a future Conference.

The strategy includes general framework for Arab cooperation in the areas of scientific research through scientific research centers, universities, production and industrial corporations.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research inaugurated the 13th Conference of the Arab Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.

In an inaugural address, Sheikh Nahyan called on the institutions of higher education and scientific research in the Arab world to create an advanced system of the higher education to achieve the objectives of scientific and economic development through best practices, according to a report of the UAE news agency 'WAM'.