Agreement on condemning Syrian leadership’s intransigence during GCC-Turkish meeting in Istanbul

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Final communiqué of 4th ministerial meeting of GCC-Turkey strategic dialogue

The 4th Joint Ministerial Meeting for Strategic Dialogue Between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States and Turkey concluded in Istanbul on Saturday.

The one-day meeting issued a statement which said that the Turkish delegation was headed by Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, the Foreign Minister, and the GCC delegation by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Current Session of the GCC Ministerial Council, noting that GCC Foreign Ministers and GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani participated in the meeting.

The statement pointed out that the spirit of friendship, frankness and cooperation prevailed over the meeting, reflecting the strength of fraternal relations between the two sides and their common desire to strengthen their cooperation through the mechanism of strategic dialogue at a high level that started first in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the Ministers stressed their common desire to strengthen and diversify these close relations in all fields.

The Ministers welcomed the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the transfer of the GCC from a stage of cooperation to the Union, as this step has a positive impact on the peoples of the region and promotes the Council's relations with its neighbors.

The Ministers welcomed the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in promoting dialogue between followers of different religions, embodied in the initiative launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Makkah in June 2008, and in Madrid, July 2008, and finally in the 63rd Session of the Assembly of the United Nations and all relevant resolutions entitled 'Culture of Peace.'

The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of King Abdullah Global Center for Dialogue Between Followers of Religions and Cultures in Vienna.

The Ministers expressed their support for international efforts to combat maritime piracy in the framework of international law, and the efforts made by countries of the region, as well as the role played by the GCC and Turkey in this regard.

The Ministers expressed their support for the Final Document of the Review Conference of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 2010, which approved specific steps to implement 1995 resolution on the Middle East, calling on Israel to join the Treaty and to put all its nuclear facilities under the overall supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Ministers also stressed the importance of holding a conference in 2012 to make the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction with the participation of all countries in the region.

The Ministers affirmed the need to continue the negotiations between Iran and Group 5 +1 to reach a peaceful solution on the nuclear issue, while recognizing the right of all countries in the development of programs of nuclear energy for peaceful uses, in accordance with their obligations under the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons under the supervision of the International Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Ministers stressed that relations between the countries of the region shall be based on the principles of good neighborliness, non-interference in internal affairs, resolution of differences by peaceful means, respect for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity of the states, and refraining from the use or threat of force.

The Ministers also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East, regional and international issues of common concern, stressing the importance of meeting the legitimate demands and aspirations of the peoples in reform, development, the rule of law, good governance, and justice.

The Ministers expressed their deep regret over continuing violence and high number of civilian casualties in Syria, and in this regard, they agreed on the need to focus international efforts on an immediate end to the bloodshed in Syria.

They called for the preparation to start the process of political transition to meet the legitimate demands and aspirations of the people of Syria.

The Ministers emphasized that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East can only be achieved by the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state with East Quds as its capital based on 1967 borders.

They also called on the international community to compel Israel to withdraw from all Arab occupied territories in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, on the basis of the relevant resolutions of UN Security Council, the principle of land for peace, Madrid Conference Reference, Arab peace initiative and the Roadmap.

The Ministers agreed to hold the next meeting in Bahrain.