1998 News Story

GCC foreign ministers issue communique after 67th session

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal headed the Kingdom's delegation to the 67th session of

the ministerial council of foreign ministers of member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council

(GCC), which ended today with a communique that urged Iraq to cooperate with the UN

committee assigned for the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, and called on Iraq to

implement all UN security council resolutions pertaining to its aggression against Kuwait

including those on the release of POWs, whether Kuwaitis or non-Kuwaitis, and to comply with

Resolution 949 which stipulates refraining from all provocative or aggressive acts against its

neighbors and restoration of Kuwaiti property, adding that by compliance with these

resolutions the Iraqi government will positively contribute to easing the sufferings of the Iraqi


Noting with anxiety the statements of the Iraqi Vice President which shed doubts on UN

Resolution 833 pertaining to the demarcation of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti borders, and considering

such statements as a danger to the security of the region and of Kuwait, the foreign ministers

urged the international community to take the necessary steps to confront Iraqi defiance of

these resolutions, and called on Iraq to take the appropriate measures to prove its peaceful

intentions towards Kuwait and the neighboring countries in a manner that ensures the security

and stability  for all countries of the region.  The communique hoped that the plan for

distribution of basic humanitarian needs to the Iraqi people would be implemented in line with

UN Resolution 1153 which aims at easing the sufferings of the Iraqi people, and reiterated the

inalienable stance of the GCC member states vis-a-vis Iraq's independence, territorial integrity

and regional safety. 
The communique expressed optimism about the outcome of the visit of the Iranian foreign

minister to the United Arab Emirates on May 22, 1998, and hoped that contacts between the

two countries would pave the way for a positive response from Iran with peaceful initiatives

that aim at the settlement of the problem of the three islands in line with international law

including Iran's acceptance of referral of the case to the International Court of Justice.  The

communique reiterated the support of the GCC member states to the sovereignty of the UAE

over the three islands, and their absolute support for all peaceful measures that might be taken

for the restoration of the three islands to the UAE.
The communique noted that the GCC member states are anxious to maintain good relations

with Iran on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in the domestic affairs of

others as well as refraining from resorting to force or threat as a way for the settlement of

disputes.  The communique hoped that the contacts and bilateral meetings between the GCC

and Iran would yield positive results and pave the way for the solution of any differences

through peaceful means.
On the Middle East problem the communique expressed anxiety over Israel's intransigent

policy and its failure to carry out the agreements signed with the Palestinian National

Authority.  It deplored the decision of the Israeli government to expand the geographical

boundaries of Jerusalem and to change its  demographic structure, declaring that this

constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and the UN resolutions.  The communique

deplored the Israeli policy aiming at expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian

and Arab territories, saying this constitutes violation of the principles of the Madrid conference

and the UN resolutions, in particular number 252. The communique praised the international

consensus on continuation of the peace process on the basis of the UN resolutions and the

land-for-peace principle in line with the resolutions 242 and 338 and resolutions of the Madrid

conference.  It called for Israeli withdrawal from the Arab Syrian Golan Heights and

unconditional withdrawal from southern Lebanon in line with UN resolution 425. 
The communique called on the sponsors of the peace process in the Middle East and in

particular the United States of America to redouble efforts for the salvation of the peace

process.  It also called on the European Union to intensify efforts for realization of a just and

comprehensive peace in the region.   The communique reiterated the importance of Israel

signing the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and allowing inspection of its

nuclear installations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.      
The communique expressed concern over the arms race between Pakistan and India, declaring

this would have an adverse impact on the security and stability of the region and urging both

countries to sign the Treaty for Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and settle their dispute

through peaceful means.  The communique praised the decision of Pakistan to unilaterally

suspend nuclear tests and hoped that India would follow its example so as to realize stability

in the sub-continent and in south Asia.
The communique regretted the continuation of the armed dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia

and called on the two African countries to settle their dispute through dialogue and peaceful

means.  On Kosovo, the communique deplored the aggressive practices of the Serb forces

against Muslims and urged the international community to work for putting an end to such

practices.  The communique expressed its condemnation of all kinds of violence and terrorism

and regretted that certain countries give shelter to terrorist elements, underscoring the

importance of differentiating between human rights and acts of terrorism.