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GCC Concludes Its 37th Summit | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa speaks at a press conference at the end of the GCC summit in Manama on Wednesday. – SPA

Manama – The 37th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, held in Manama on Wednesday, issued its final communiqué stressing the significance of continuously maintaining cooperation and integration among the GCC member states.

The Supreme Council expressed its total rejection of the continuation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the GCC countries and the region. It called for full commitment to fundamentals, basic principles and foundations based on the principle of good neighborliness and respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use or threat of force.

“Iran must change its policy of harboring the terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, supporting terrorist militias and triggering sectarian strife in the region,” the Gulf leaders said in the final communique adopted by the summit.

The Supreme Council stressed the need for Iran to change its policy in the region, so as to abide by international conventions and treaties and not to embrace and harbor terrorist groups on its territory, including Hezbollah militia and support of terrorist militias in the region, and not to ignite sectarian strife in region.

The Council also denounced Iran’s attempts to politicize the Hajj aimed to offend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, calling on Iranian officials to refrain from such actions and attitudes, and cooperate with the official authorities in Saudi Arabia to organize the Hajj season, to allow Iranian pilgrims to perform rituals.

Regarding the situation in Syria, the Supreme Council called on the U.N. Security Council to make an urgent intervention to stop bloodshed there.

The summit called for an emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly to stop the continuing killing and violation of the international laws and U.N. resolutions.

The GCC leaders renewed their support for the efforts exerted by U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

The Council also commended the outcomes of the GCC-UK talks held in Manama between GCC leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May, which focused on the latest regional and international developments.

On Yemen, the leaders reiterated their full support to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty and independence and rejected any attempt to interfere in its domestic affairs.

They underscored the significance of finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis in line with the Gulf Initiative and its Executive Mechanism, Output of the Comprehensive National Dialogue, Riyadh Conference and UNSC Resolution 2216.

They also expressed their appreciation to Kuwait for hosting U.N.-facilitated peace negotiations among Yemeni political rivals, which began on April 21st and wound up on August 7th, 2016.

Yet, the Council condemned the new government formed by the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh considering it a setback to the ongoing efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni problem.

On Iraq, the GCC leaders renewed keenness on maintaining this Arab country’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, while strongly rejecting interference in its internal affairs.

They emphasized that ISIS-controlled Iraqi areas should be retaken only by Iraqi army and police forces.

They congratulated Antonio Guterres on being elected as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations, reiterating support to U.N. efforts to maintain world security and stability, according to the communique.

The council confirmed the GCC’s rejections towards terrorism and extremism.

They reaffirmed their support to all regional and international efforts to fight ISIS and all other terrorist networks and organizations in Syria, Iraq and other regions.

Furthermore, they emphasized that Iran should abide by its nuclear agreement with the G5+1 in July 2015, urging the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to apply an effective mechanism to verify the agreement is put in place.

On the recent U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), the conferees condemned the law as a breach of the fixed principles of international law, mainly the principle of equality among the states.

They lashed out at the U.S. act as a violation of the basics and principles of the relationship among the states and principle of sovereign immunity.

The summit called on Washington to rethink this legislation due to its negative reflections on the relationship among the states.

On Palestine, the GCC leaders reiterated that total, just and everlasting peace could be reached in the Middle East region only when Israel withdraws from all Arab territories it occupied in 1967.

The concluding statement reaffirmed GCC’s support to an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital in line with the Arab peace initiative and relevant international legitimacy resolutions.

They emphasized that Iran should abide by its nuclear agreement with the G5+1 in July 2015, urging the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to apply an effective mechanism to verify conformity with the agreement.

Regarding Libya, the GCC leaders, according to the concluding statement issued after their summit in Manama, reiterated backing to U.N. efforts to ensure security and stability.