Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz reported today that the closing session of the 18th conference of defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had reviewed recommendations and decisions in support of comprehensive defense integration, but had not signed a joint defense pact. This is understandable, he said, since the issue is of great importance and should be subject to thorough, deep and detailed study by the GCC Chiefs of Staff, who will meet to finalize the draft agreement and present it at the next meeting of the GCC defense ministers. Prince Sultan reiterated that the meeting had yielded good results in the interest of military cooperation among the GCC member states. He went on to state that a GCC defense agreement does not in any way conflict with the Arab Defense Agreement, but that on the contrary, it is complementary to it, since the Gulf states are an integral part of the Arab world, and the GCC, of the Arab League. He confirmed that the Al-Gezira Shield is a force that enjoys support from all the GCC leaders.
Later, Prince Sultan met with President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan Al-Nayahan, with whom he exchanged cordial talks reflecting the strong relations between the two countries.