Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz has commented on the upcoming 22nd Summit of the leaders of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), scheduled for tomorrow in Muscat, Oman. In a statement to the Omani News Agency, he referred to the prudence of the leaders of the Arabian Gulf region in seeking the formation of the Council 22 years ago, and praised the GCC's sub-committees, which, he said, hold regular meetings and forge appropriate mechanisms. He remarked that the political orientation of the GCC Supreme Council is moderate and its ethical approach noble.
Stressing that the GCC states, sharing the same concerns as the Arab World, serve Arab and Islamic causes, King Fahd referred to the Palestinian situation and declared: "The GCC will continue its efforts through all available channels to spur the international community to play its role in reinforcing the relevant UN resolutions, no matter how long it takes." The GCC's decisions, he said, are always public, and the mechanisms for their implementation are known: this is also true for the current effort to realize economic integrity.
As for the international campaign against terrorism, King Fahd declared that terrorism is causing great harm, and reiterated Islam's prohibition of it, saying it "has neither religion nor nationality". He stated that cooperation is needed to eradicate terrorism, adding that Saudi Arabia is "contributing as best we can to boosting international efforts in this regard, provided that that they are in conformity with Islamic shari'ah." There must be cooperation at all levels, he declared, "to find reasonable and objective solutions to ongoing problems so that rights are enjoyed by all, and double standards are avoided, and the world at large can enjoy security, peace, stability and a prosperous and dignified life."
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal arrived in Muscat today to take part in the preparatory meeting of GCC ministers for foreign and financial affairs, and confirmed that the Summit's agenda includes the current situation in Afghanistan and in the Middle East as well as issues such as a single GCC currency, customs tariffs, and ease of movement of labor. In comments to the Omani News Agency, he described the GCC as a tributary of Arab joint action that aims at enhancing coordination among the Arabs, and praised the fact the its leaders have set mechanisms for this that have recently started to yield fruit at all levels, political, economical, security and social. The future, he declared, is promising. As for international efforts to combat terrorism, the GCC countries have for years been in the forefront of this, he said, and have been calling on the entire world to wage a serious battle against it. This, he added, is "not a mere political stance, since it also conforms to the principles of Islam that prohibit killing of innocent civilians and reject violence and terrorism in all its forms". He went on to stress the importance of differentiating between the practice of terror and the struggle of peoples for their legitimate rights, including those of self-determination and driving out foreign occupiers, as is the case with the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Commenting on the aftermath of September 11, Prince Saud referred to Islam as a civilizing influence, and remarking that reason calls for co-existence among civilizations, he commented: "The respect and appreciation accorded to Islam in the western world is noted, and the difference between its noble values, instructions and principles on one hand and the evil practices of some of its followers on the other hand is also recognized".