GCC leaders gather in Riyadh for consultations

May 5, 2009

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz hosted the 11th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Consultative Summit in Riyadh today. The gathering was attended by top GCC officials, including Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd al-Saeed, U.A.E. Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed Al-Makhtoum, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani.

During the meeting, held at Dir’iya Palace, political, security and economic issues were reviewed, including the situations in Palestine and Iraq, the GCC’s relations with Iran, and Arab reconciliation efforts.

Afterwards, GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah held a press conference, during which he announced that Riyadh was chosen as the headquarters for the new GCC Monetary Council. Addressing the impact of the global financial crisis on GCC countries, Al-Attiyah stated, “The economies of our countries are immune as certain measures have been taken by the GCC states, contributing to alleviating the repercussions of this crisis.”

Regarding international developments, the Secretary General reiterated the GCC’s desire to see dialogue among all countries of the world. He especially welcomed talks between the U.S. and Iran, provided that they do not come at the expense of Arab countries. On Iran, Al-Attiyah noted, “We reject any nuclear program challenging international standards and nuclear non-proliferation treaties. However, we support Iran’s right to possess peaceful nuclear energy.”