Dear Brothers, Your Excellency and Highnesses the leaders of the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council:
Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings.
I am pleased, on behalf of the Saudi people and for myself, to welcome you in your second home, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and pray to God this meeting will be successful and to come out with tangible results that are reinforcement and strength to the Gulf and our Arab and Islamic nations.
At the commencement of our activity, I would like to thank my dear brother His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaid Al-Nahian, the President of the United Arab Emirates, for the wisdom he exhibited while he was chairman of the summit and I wish him everlasting success. Since this is the first time for us to meet after the death of our dear brother His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the Emir of the State of Kuwait, may God bless his soul, we have named this summit after him in recognition of his efforts to serve cooperation in the Gulf.
This annual meeting is an opportunity to review what we have accomplished and we could not accomplish for one reason or another during the past year. When evaluation is measured by the dimensions of the political reality and what could be accomplished, the assessment is that we have reached acceptable political and economic accomplishments. But when it is measured by the aspiration of our people and what is necessary for this era, the assessment is that everything we have achieved is little and far from the ambitions of our people. Evaluation does not mean despair or dejection. On the contrary, it is a rejuvenation of resoluteness and a garnering of support. All the dreams that seem impossible today could be within the reach tomorrow, with the help of God, genuine intentions and sincere efforts.
The Arab region is beleaguered with dangers, as if it is a powder keg awaiting a spark to explode. Our basic concern is the issue of precious Palestine, remaining between an aggressive occupation that has no fear of a witness or judge, a world community watching the bloody tragedy as a bystander and more dangerously a dispute between the brothers. In Iraq, the brother is still killing his brother and this beloved country is very close to sliding into the darkness of dissection and the insane strife. In dear Lebanon, we see dark clouds threatening the unity of the country and warnings of a new slide toward the nightmare of a disastrous struggle between the people of the same country. In our Gulf, there are a number of suspended issues and some policies and directions are engulfed in ambiguity.
Faced by these problems we have to stand in one line like a solid wall and speak in a single voice representing the whole Gulf area. With this one row and one voice we can assist the brothers in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon and support our Islamic nation everywhere.
When we speak about economic citizenship we find that we have made progress. Still there are many things ahead of us need to be done before we can claim that we have achieved complete economic unity and that a GCC citizen receives the same treatment in every GCC state. The obstacles that block the way are real, and I am not attempting to lessen their importance. The reservations that slowed progress did not come from one or two nations, but each one has a share. The dream of the economic unity should not depart our eyes for a single moment. Without unity, we are only small entities affected but have no effect. With unity, we can be a power that can not be ignored.
In the name of God we start and by His guidance we proceed depending on Him alone, He is the best to protect and the best to help.
Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of God.