Brussels – Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said there is a determination to expand bilateral relations between European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Speaking at the European Union-Gulf Cooperation Council Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Jubeir said that it is important to strengthen bilateral political, economic, cultural and social cooperation and relations between EU and GCC.
Following the meeting, Jubeir held a joint press conference with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini during which he said that Bashar al-Assad did not honor the Russian promises regarding Syria. He added that there’s hope for a solution for the Syrian crisis, but “Syria will be judged on what actually happens on the ground.”
The minister stressed that the humanitarian situation in Yemen concerns all parties and they are working closely with the U.N. envoy to follow up on the situation and devise solutions.
Whereas Mogherini said that EU and GCC have a mutual interest to work together closely on countering terrorism.
“We decided to do so more and more in the coming months and years. We will continue to work together to fight ISIS, other terrorist movements. But also we will work together to prevent radicalization and find ways to be effective in our fight against terrorism,” she said.
The ministerial meeting discussed the importance of increased cooperation to fight terrorism.
Secretary General of GCC Abdul Latif al-Zayani said during his speech that EU is one of the most important partners of GCC. He said that the trade exchange between GCC and EU reached 155 billion Euros in 2015.
Zayani added that the partnership between EU and GCC is conducted on several basis and includes negotiations and coordination to ensure stability and enhance security in the region.
Sec. Gen. added that the meeting happened during difficult times in the region and GCC has taken a series of decisions and initiatives to maintain stability in the region. He called for deepened bilateral relations especially in fighting terrorism.
Regarding Yemen, Zayani called for joint cooperation to ensure success of Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait to facilitate a comprehensive and lasting settlement between all Yemeni parties to restore peace.
“Leaders of GCC had instructed the Secretariat to call for an international conference to rebuild Yemen in coordination with the Yemeni government as well as international and regional organizations,” Zayani said.
In addition, a number of GCC foreign ministers met with U.S. State Secretary John Kerry and discussed a series of regional and international issues. The attendees talked about the efforts to reach political solutions to maintain security and stability in the region as well fighting terrorism, violence, and extremism.
The meeting also discussed the resolutions of the 2015 Camp David meeting between leaders of GCC and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Head of Mission for the Gulf Cooperation Council to the European Union Amal al-Hamad said that the attendees exchanged common concerns regarding situations in Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and the Middle East Peace Process.
She added that exporting the Iranian revolution to other countries is rejected especially in the Gulf countries where there is no sectarianism.
The EU delegation to the meeting was led by Mogherini, and the GCC delegation was led by Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister as GCC rotating Presidency. The GCC Secretariat was represented by Abdullatif bin Rashed Al-Zayani, Secretary General.
EU and GCC Ministers agreed to hold their next meeting in Bahrain