GCC Foreign Ministers meet in Jeddah

June 2, 2013

The 127th session of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was held at the Conference Palace in Jeddah this evening. Vice Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz led the Saudi delegation. The meeting was chaired by Bahraini Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ghanim Al-Buainain and attended by foreign ministers and officials from GCC states, including GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani.

Following the session, the Ministerial Council issued a statement outlining the deliberations and stating the GCC position on various issues. It called for greater cooperation between the member countries in the fields of economics, legal affairs, and counterterrorism.

The ministers praised the vigilance of Saudi security forces, who recently uncovered two spy rings attempting to collect information on vital locations in the Kingdom. They condemned the recent terrorist bombings that occurred in Bahrain and Turkey, rejecting the violence as contrary to moral and religious values.

The statement denounced Iranian interference in GCC countries, including Tehran’s attempts to destabilize Bahrain and its continued occupation of three islands belonging to the UAE. It expressed regret over the lack of progress in the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program, stressing the importance of finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The Ministerial Council expressed its grave concern over the continued deterioration of the situation in Syria and the conflict’s potential to destabilize the entire region. It called on the international community to redouble its efforts to end the bloodshed in a way that preserves Syria’s security, stability and unity. The statement condemned Hezbollah’s blatant interference in Syria and demanded that the Lebanese government keep its country out of the fighting. It said that the GCC governments are considering taking action against Hezbollah’s interests in their own countries. The ministers welcomed the outcome of the meeting of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, held in Istanbul at the end of May, stressing its support for the coalition’s position regarding the Geneva II Conference. Finally, they condemned Israel’s attacks on Syrian territory, calling on the United Nations Security Council to take measures to prevent the recurrence of the violation of the sovereignty of an Arab country.

Addressing other regional issues, the Ministerial Council congratulated Lebanon’s new Prime Minister; welcomed the launch of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference in Yemen; stressed the importance of dialogue between the parties in Iraq; praised the outcome of the Donors Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, held in Doha in April; and condemned the brutal massacres against Muslim Rohingya citizens in Myanmar.

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