2002 News Story

GCC foreign ministers begin conference in Jeddah

The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began in Jeddah yesterday their 84th ordinary conference under the chairmanship of Oman's minister in charge of foreign affairs Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, who announced the meeting as the last prior to the preparatory foreign ministers' meetings for the 23rd GCC Summit scheduled for Doha, Qatar, in December 2002.

High on the agenda, he said, was the tense situation in the Middle East, for which he blamed Israel, and any solution for which should be based on Israel's withdrawal from all Arab territories, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in accordance with the peace initiative adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut. He then drew attention to the tense situation in Iraq following U.S. threats to strike that Arab country, warning that matters may well deteriorate and urging friends of the region to listen to the advice of the Arab states. The foreign ministers also held a joint meeting in Jeddah yesterday with representatives of the Consultative Commission for the GCC Summit, who briefed them on its views on regional and international economic blocs, young people and the media, and issues assigned to them by the 20th and 22nd Summits.