GCC leaders’ consultative meeting in Saudi Arabia discusses Arab, regional developments

GCC Summit hails Palestinian reconciliation, accuses Iran of conspiring against Gulf region’s security

Gulf leaders welcome Jordan’s request to join bloc, invite Morocco to join

Under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Leaders and Heads of Delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States concluded their 13th consultative meeting at Dir'iya Palace in Riyadh.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held a dinner banquet in honor of GCC leaders and heads of delegations.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques bade farewell to the GCC leaders and heads of delegations; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain; Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Saeed, Deputy Premier for Cabinet Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, wishing them a happy journey.

They also were seen off by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region and GCC Secretary General, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani.

Leaders and Heads of Delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States vowed full support for the Kingdom of Bahrain in defiance of foreign threats and interference, urged Yemeni rivals to come to reason and sign reconciliation pact and welcomed the recently-concluded Cairo agreement between Palestinian main factions.

During their meeting at Dir'iya Palace in Riyadh, the leaders also reviewed the latest developments of the common march of the GCC since the convening of the GCC summit in the United Arab Emirates last December.

In a press statement following the meeting, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Secretary General of the GCC, said the leaders and heads of delegations fully sided Bahrain and vowed to unite in one line to face any danger engulfing any of the group's member countries.

They lauded the prudence of the leadership of the Kingdom of Bahrain and faithfulness of its people, confirming that the security of the GCC member countries is an integral issue and that the preservation of stability and security is a collective responsibility, citing the entrance of the Peninsula Shield Forces into Bahrain as per security and defense joint agreements of the GCC member countries. To this effect, they praised the decision of the Bahraini government to lift the State of National Safety as of the first of June 2011.

In this regard, the leaders expressed profound concern over the continual Iranian interference in domestic affairs of the GCC member countries through committing conspiracy against their national security, spreading sedition and sectarian affliction among their peoples and flagrantly violating their sovereignty and independence, the principles of good neighborhood, international norms and laws, the United Nations Charter and the Organization of Islamic Conference statute.

Al-Zayani said the meeting was briefed on the latest contacts made with the Yemeni political factions regarding the draft agreement proposed by the GCC, urging them to sign the pact as it was in its capacity as the best possible way to get out of the current impasse and help Yemen evade more security deterioration and political rift.

The Secretary General said the GCC welcomes the Palestinian national reconciliation arrangement reached in Cairo recently, lauding the efforts exerted by the Egyptian mediators and other Arab and Islamic calls and calling for the Palestinian signatories to live up to their words and not to miss this historical chance for the sake of restoring their rights and establishing their independent state with the Eastern Al-Quds as its capital.

On the domestic arena, the leaders were also briefed on a wide-range report, including the follow-up of the requirements of the customs union.

Al-Zayani said the guests expressed thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspection General, the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to them in their second country the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, prominent political and cultural personalities in Jordan have whole-heartedly hailed the decision of the leaders' of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) during their 13th consultative summit chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz in Riyadh to welcome bids by Jordan and Morocco to join the GCC.

In statements to the Saudi Press Agency, they lauded the decision of the GCC leaders led by King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz and said it truly reflected their sincere desire to strengthen Arab solidarity and consolidate joint Arab action to enable the Arabs face the challenges and dangers that have beset the Arab nation in the present time.

The former Jordanian Information Minister Saeed Al-Tal welcomed the GCC leaders' decision and described it as an important and a positive step.

He expressed hope in Jordan's accession to the Council as soon as possible to serve the goals and targets that are aspired by the GCC ever since its inception, particularly with regard to the protection of Arab security and strengthening further the process of economic cooperation between the GCC countries to be reflected in benefits and interests of the peoples of its member states.

'The common bonds linking Jordan and the GCC states, particularly the unity of religion, language and ties of kinship and affection, prompt their brotherly people to come closer (in unity and solidarity),' he noted.

For his part, Engineer Hisham Al-Sharari, a member of the Jordanian Senate praised Jordan's relations with the GCC countries and described these ties as 'distinguished.' He said 'Jordan is part of the Gulf security system.'

Ahmed Al-Kasasbeh, a member of the Jordanian House of Representatives, stressed that the outcome of Jordan's accession to the GCC, would be highly beneficial, especially in the economic field. 'Moreover, the GCC countries are interested in the issue of security and stability of Jordan, which is linked to economic well-being.'

He expressed appreciation for the political cooperation between the GCC and Jordan, which has been continuing for the past several years and focusing on numerous political issues currently facing the region.

On his part, Mayor of Al-Kark Municipality, Sheikh Akef Al-Ma'ayteh said the GCC leaders' decision would also have an impact on the Palestinian issue, especially as Jordan has a border with Palestine and supports largely Palestinian cause.

'Jordan has always been a gate for the Gulf aid to the people of the West Bank and the people of the Gaza Strip. It has contributed in the promotion of resilience in the face of schemes of Israel.'

'Moreover, Jordan's accession to the GCC will contribute to consolidating the power system status-strategy for Jordan in the event of any threat from Israel.'

For his part, the former chairman of the Jordanian Journalists, Seif Al-Sharif expressed great optimism over the GCC leaders' decision and said it would lead to formation of a powerful and influential economic working system that would benefit significantly the children of the Arab region.

'The Council's decision is also the culmination of the excellent relations that Jordan enjoys with the GCC countries,' he noted.

Moroccan Minister of Communications and the Governmental Spokesman Khaled Naciri confirmed that Morocco is greatly interested in the fraternally good invitation it received from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to join the GCC.

Following the Moroccan cabinet weekly meeting, Al-Naciri said, in a press conference, that there are strong historical, humane, political, economic and human relations binding Morocco to the GCC member states, expressing simultaneously feeling proud of the quality of relations binding the two sides.

The Moroccan minister pointed out that his country, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, will begin to discuss all aspects that would lead to the utmost levels of best cooperation that should serve the mutual interest of the GCC member states and Morocco as well as Arab and Islamic just causes.