The foreign ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), at the end of their 92nd session in Jeddah today, issued a final communiqué covering the issues under review, including Palestine, Iraq, terrorism, Sudan, and Yemen. The GCC also approved that Iraq re-join the Gulf Soccer Championship, effective the next tournament scheduled for Doha, Qatar, in December 2004.
Reviewing the serious developments in the Palestinian territories, the GCC called for reactivation of the ‘roadmap’ and the Arab peace initiative, and for pressure to be put on Israel to give up its tactics aimed at buying time at the expense of Arab and Palestinian vital interests. The communiqué urged the international community to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, and to compel Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and open up its nuclear facilities for international inspection.
The communiqué noted with concern the developments in Iraq, but expressed satisfaction at the peaceful end of the Najaf stalemate, hoping that it will be a prelude to sustaining order, stability and security. The communiqué condemned the recently-revealed flagrant breaches of human rights committed in Iraq by the former regime, and called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the committee that searches for prisoners of war and those missing in action to also work for repatriation of Kuwait's cultural property.
The communiqué expressed satisfaction over efforts taken to combat terrorism worldwide, especially those by the Saudi security forces that have foiled a number of terrorist plots and arrested many terrorist leaders over the past few weeks. The GCC denounced the capture in Iraq of French journalists and Italian citizens, the bloodshed caused by the terrorist siege of a school in North Ossetia in Russia, and the explosion that ripped the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, killing and injuring dozens of innocent people.
The communiqué welcomed the steps taken by Sudan’s government to contain the situation in Darfur; expressed support for how the government of Yemen handled the terrorist acts in Saada; and reiterated the GCC position that the three Iran-occupied islands, Greater and Lesser Tumbs and Abu Moussa, belong to the United Arab Emirates. It ended by vowing support for the nomination of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the rotating presidency of the General Assembly of the United Nations during the 61st session in September 2006 and that of Qatar for Security Council membership for 2006.