2002 News Story

GCC interior ministers issue Muscat declaration on terrorism

The interior ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have issued the 'Muscat Declaration on Terrorism' at the end of their 21st conference, held in Muscat, Oman. In his address to the conference, Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz stressed the importance of unifying the efforts of organizations and governments to fight terrorism in all its forms, and counteract its effects on international peace and security.

The preservation of human dignity, he said, is basic to all religions and codes of morality, without discrimination against race, color or creed. Reading the declaration at the closing session today, GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atiyyah stated that the GCC states, in accordance with their Islamic beliefs that reject terrorism whatever its form or source, have long been aware of the danger of the phenomenon of terrorism, and have called for concerted international efforts to combat it. Given the current developments in the world today in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States, denounced by the GCC at that time, the GCC states confirm their firm stance of denunciation of terrorism and their pledge to combat it at all levels. It was in accordance with this stance that they signed the Arab agreement against terrorism and endorsed the strategy on combating extremism. Moreover, work is currently underway to draft a security pact to combat terrorism within the GCC; the GCC attests to the fact that terrorism is an evil that knows no race, religion or country and categorically rejects all evil attempts seeking to link terrorism with Arabs and Muslims. Fully supporting international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, addressing its root causes and working to stem its financial sources, the GCC states nevertheless differentiate between terrorism and the right of peoples to struggle for their freedom and resist foreign occupation. The ministers condemn the biased media campaign against the GCC member states, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in particular, that is attempting to cast doubts on their moderate and balanced methods in international relations. The ministers expressed confidence in their countries' ability to fight terrorism and achieve peace, security and prosperity, in the region and the world at large. The GCC member states reiterate their support for every regional and international effort to combat terrorism to enable the countries and peoples of the world to live in security, stability, prosperity, peace and brotherhood. In their final communiqué today, the GCC interior ministers reviewed GCC security coordination, stressing the importance of enforcing decisions taken to enhance security measures in a way that guarantees protection from terrorist threats. The conference passed a resolution setting out guidelines for volunteer work in the area of civil defense; endorsed decisions promoting ease of movement for citizens and mobility of commercial exchange among the member states; and approved on-the-spot issuance of entry visas at border points for non-GCC drivers of GCC trucks.