Manama – Bahrain’s Minister of Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi asserted on Monday that the Manama Gulf Summit represents an additional brick in the structure of a strong and committed Gulf organization, as a base to move towards a Gulf Union reinforced by an alliance of joint blood, religion, history and destiny.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Rumaihi said Gulf countries should unite facing the security and economic challenges and to join hands to enhance their economic and social security and stability and to confront foreign interventions.
On Tuesday, Bahrain will host the 37th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit to boost the joint Arabian Gulf work in all the political, defense, security, economic, and social aspects and to satisfy the aspirations and ambitions of the GCC peoples.
The Bahraini Minister of Information Affairs said the GCC Summit first aims to activate the Gulf agreement concerning the vision of Saudi Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud based on enhancing the joint Gulf efforts at the economic, political, social, military and security levels, and on facing extremism and terrorism.
Al-Rumaihi said the second target of the Summit is related to express a joint Gulf position concerning regional and international issues, mainly the Palestinian case, by enhancing the security and stability of Arab countries and by confronting Iran’s interferences in regional internal affairs.
Asked why the 37th GCC Summit was different from its previous ones, the information minister said the GCC Summit will witness the first Gulf-British Summit held between Gulf leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May with an aim to strengthen common strategic relations at the political, military, economic, security and cultural levels. The Summit also proves that the UK is interested in the security and stability of Arabian Gulf states.
May will make her first regional visit to GCC by taking part of the 37th GCC Summit.
Al-Rumaihi said the situation in Yemen and Iran’s interferences in Arab affairs are two main issues on the agenda of the GCC Summit. “The two issues are related to the Gulf national security. GCC states are keen on enhancing the security and stability of the Arab countries and on protecting regional peace.”
He added: “GCC states ask Iran to respect the principles of good neighborly relations and the sovereignty of states by not interfering in their internal affairs using force and threats.”
The minister also called on Iran to stop inciting sectarian strife in the region. “Iran’s interferences in the affairs of Bahrain and other Arab countries take different forms at the political, security, intelligence and media levels. The interferences aim to shake the security and stability of Gulf States and to incite hatred among their peoples.”
Al-Rumaihi said that Bahrain, thanks to the help of GCC states, was capable to dismantle several terrorist cells related to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and other linked extremist organization, similar to the “Hezbollah” terrorist group.
In this regard, the minister said all GCC states are working jointly to confront terrorist threats, based on several joint security and strategic policies.
Asked about the situation of the Gulf media sector, Al-Rumaihi said there are 1294 Arab channels, 87 percent of them privately owned. “Although their number is increasing, there is still a shortage in facing the current threats, because only 1 percent of those channels are documentary, reflecting the cultural and historical Arab identity, facing 40 percent of leisure and advertisement channels and 7 percent of religious channels including some spreading sectarian extremism.”