2002 News Story

GCC foreign ministers conclude meeting

The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) left Jeddah today at the conclusion of their 84th meeting. Attending the meeting were Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Rashid bin Abdullah Alnaimi; Kuwait's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shaikh Dr. Mohammed Sabah Alsalem Alsabah; Oman's Minister in charge of foreign affairs Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah; and Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani; in addition to Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atiyyah.

A statement issued at the end of the meeting condemned the malicious campaign launched by certain Western media against Saudi Arabia aimed at distorting the Kingdom's moderate and balanced stance in its international relations. In this regard, the council expressed its absolute confidence in the positive role of the Kingdom and GCC member states in working for peace, security and prosperity in the region and in the world, and in enhancing international efforts to combat terrorism within the framework of the United Nations. The ministerial council praised the statement by U.S. President George W. Bush in which he described as irresponsible the ideas circulated recently on relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The conference reviewed the progress of economic integration among GCC states and implementation of resolutions on the Gulf Common Market, the development of the education system, and cooperation at all levels, political, economic, social, security and military, as well as the mechanisms in place to implement the valued proposals of Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz that were discussed in Jeddah last May at the GCC Supreme Council's fourth consultative meeting. Concerning economic cooperation, the council reviewed the results recently reached by the GCC planning ministers on their long-term comprehensive development strategy and reviewed a detailed report on the development of international economic relations between member states and world economic groups. The ministerial council expressed its satisfaction over steps taken and results accomplished in military cooperation and coordination among its member states. The council, reiterating its stance that Iraq implement all relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, and in light of regional and international developments, renewed its adherence to the resolution of the Arab Summit in Beirut that rejects any military action against any Muslim or Arab country including Iraq, and urged Iraq to accept international inspectors to avoid such action. On the occupation by Iran of the three islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates, the council re-asserted the sovereignty of the UAE and expressed the hope that the two countries reach a peaceful solution to the dispute. On the dangerous situation in the Middle East, the council condemned Israel's brutal actions against the Palestinian people, stressing that the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab territories is the only way to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region. The council stressed that Crown Prince Abdullah's initiative that was unanimously adopted by Arab Summit in Beirut forms the basis for a peaceful solution and should be a cornerstone for any negotiations or serious movement aimed at reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region within the framework of the United Nations. The council also renewed its call to the international community to make the Middle East region and the Arabian Gulf, free of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear arms.