LONDON, Asharq Al-Awsat – The following is the text of The Closing Statement of the 31st Session of the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, published by the Emirates News Agency [WAM].
“In response to the gracious invitation extended by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the United Arab Emirates, the Supreme Council convened its 31st session in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 6-7 December 2010 (30 Dhul Hijjah and 1 Muharram, 1431 H) under the chairmanship of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The meeting was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the United Arab Emirates and the Chairman of the current session of the Supreme Council, in the presence of Their Majesties and Highnesses: His Majesty King Hamad Bin Eisa Al-Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain; HRH Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister ‘&’ Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Al-Sayed Fahad Bin Mahmoud Al-Saeed, Deputy Prime Minister for the Affairs of the Council of Ministers of the Sultanate of Oman; His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait.
H.E. Abdul Rahman Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the GCC Secretary-General also participated in the meeting.
The Council congratulated His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates-May Allah protect him on assuming the chairmanship of the current session of the Supreme Council. It praised the sublime speech of His Highness which articulated a purposeful vision, a keen desire to activate the cooperation process between the GCC States in all fields and to further expand and reinforce this process in the coming period.
The Council also congratulated Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates – May Allah protect him- on the occasion of the 39th National Day of the United Arab Emirates. The Council expressed its best wishes of more progress and prosperity for the United Arab Emirates and its people.
The Council also expressed its appreciation of the tremendous, sincere, and genuine efforts made by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait – may Allah protect him- and Chairman of previous session of the Supreme Council, and by his prudent Government, as well as the dear Kuwaiti people, during His Highness’ Chairmanship of the 30th session of the GCC Supreme Council, towards the keen follow-up on the implementation of the Supreme Council resolutions, the crucial steps taken and achievements made to push forward the cooperation process to a more advanced stage, lifting it to broader horizons, and bringing further prosperity for the people of the GCC States.
Their Majesties and Highnesses also expressed gladness at the clarification provided by HRH Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Prime Minister ‘&’ Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the health condition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia- may Allah protect him- and his recuperating from the illness, entreating the almighty Allah to grant His Highness lasting health and complete recovery to continue leading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and support the cooperation march of GCC.
The Supreme Council also hailed the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabian, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia- may Allah protect him- in the G-20 Summit, which was held in Toronto, Canada on 26 November, 2010, and Seoul, South Korea on 11 November 2010. The Supreme Council expressed appreciation of the role the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in global political and economic relations.
The Supreme Council also congratulated His Majesty King Hamad Bin Eisa Al-Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the occasion of the 38th National Day, and on the occasion of the completion of 10 years of His Majesty’s reign, wishing the Kingdom of Bahrain and its brotherly people constant progress, advancement and prosperity.
The Supreme Council also congratulated the His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Eisa Al-Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain- may Allah protect him- on the occasion of the 39th National Day, and on holding parliamentary and municipal elections which the Supreme Council hails as a prominent landmark in the march of development HRH King Hamad leads.
The Supreme Council welcomed the kind patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for the GCC’s first Olympic Games which will be staged in Manama on 16 April 2011.
The Supreme Council also congratulated His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed on the Sultanate’s glorious 40th national day, lauding the remarkable achievements it has made and which qualified it to earn the first slot worldwide in the rapid human development index out of 135 countries. The Council wished Oman and its people constant progress, prosperity and welfare.
Likewise, the Supreme Council felicitated His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, on Doha’s winning the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The Supreme Council expressed its extreme delight for Qatar’s hosting of the momentous world historic sporting event and affirmed the GCC’s unlimited support for Qatar to enable it to render the mundial 2022 a success as a source of pride to the counties and peoples of the GCC and Arab and Muslim countries as well as to peace world lovers and a promoter of dialogue between civilisations and cultures. The Council appreciated the distinguished efforts made by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s Crown Prince, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairman of Qatar 2022 Bid Committee.
The Supreme Council commended the contents of the address delivered by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, at the opening session of the 39th term of the Shura Council and valued his efforts and what Qatar has achieved under his leadership under the national vision of Qatar.
The Supreme Council highlighted Qatar’s initiative for promoting national dialogue, reconciliation and unity among brethren in Yemen and assisting them to resort to dialogue as the best method conducive to maintaining security and stability in brotherly Yemen.
It reiterated its support for the unity, security and stability of Yemen.
The Supreme Council welcomed mediation by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, to find a solution to the territorial dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti which demonstrated the successes His Highness has made in this regards. The Council lauded Sheikh Hamad’s sincere and persistent effort to create all factors of success to the recent good initiative based on values and principles of dialogue as a method for settling problems and disputes.
The Supreme Council expressed his support for Qatar’s hosting of the 18th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2012.
With the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the GCC around the corner, the Supreme Council took stock of the joint action in the political, economic, social, military, security, cultural and informational spheres and expressed its satisfaction at achievements the blessing march accomplished since the previous summit.
The Supreme Council valued the achievements and gains made in regards to the joint GCC march, underlined its determination to advance the blessing march for the best interest of the GCC member states and welfare of their citizens.
The Supreme Council expressed its satisfaction and appreciation at the implementation of recommendations by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia on accelerating performance and removal of obstacles hindering the course of joint action and the Kuwaiti paper on current regional and international challenges.
The Supreme Council evaluated developments of the regional and international political issues in view of the current events in the region and the world at large and took appropriate decisions on them.
GCC Joint Action: Vision of Bahrain for Development of the GCC: The Supreme Council reviewed recommendations by ministerial committees and the ministerial council on the Vision of Bahrain and emphasised the importance of its ideas and proposals for reinforcing joint action and directed the ministerial committees and the Secretariat General to implement what had been agreed upon.
Vision of Qatar for Activation of the GCC role: The Supreme Council reviewed the follow up reports from the ministerial committees and reports from the ministerial council regarding the Vision of Qatar and directed the ministerial committees and the Secretariat General to implement what had been agreed upon.
In the Field of Economy: The Supreme Council expressed satisfaction at the performance of the economies of GCC member states as well as their economic and social development and the high economic growth rates.
The Supreme Council examined the progress on economic integration within GCC as explained in the reports and recommendations from specialized Ministerial Committees, Ministerial Council and the Secretariat General pertaining to the proposals contained in the vision of the State of Qatar about activating the role of the GCC, and the encouraging of mutual investments, in education and health in particular. The Supreme Council has issued relevant directives.
On GCC Customs Union: The Supreme Council examined the report on the meetings of the Ministerial Council, Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee and the other relevant committees and gave directives to each of the Ministerial Committees to speed up work on the development of mechanisms of the Customs Union, removal of customs and non-customs barriers among the member states to facilitate smooth flow of intra-GCC trade as well as trade with foreign countries.
On GCC Common Market: The Supreme Council examined the report submitted by H.E the Secretary General of the Council and expressed satisfaction on the opportunities and privileges made available to nationals of the GCC member states. To further promote these opportunities and privileges, the Supreme Council decided to allow GCC companies to open branches in other GCC member states and to receive equal treatment like national firms as part of efforts to further strengthen ties among GCC nationals.
On Monetary Union: The Supreme Council examined a report on the development of the Monetary Union including a briefing on its establishment and the assignments implemented by its board of directors.
On Comprehensive Development: To keep pace with the relevant domestic, regional and international developments, the Supreme Council has approved: – GCC long-term comprehensive development strategy 2010-2025.
General framework for a GCC unified statistical strategy.
On GCC Electricity Grid Connection: The Supreme Council examined a report on the GCC electricity grid connection, which phase1 was inaugurated last year, and on phase3.
On GCC railway project: The Supreme Council was notified on a report by the GCC Secretariat-General on the GCC railway project, relevant studies, detailed engineering designs and gave directives to speed up the implementation of the same.
Laws and regulations on social and industrial affairs: The Supreme Council blessed the approval by Economic and Financial Cooperation Committee of amendments to the anti-dumping code and anti-dumping and countervailing measures and safeguards to comply with the relevant WTO’s requirements and international standards.
On Human and Environmental Affairs: The Supreme Council discussed a number of issues pertaining to joint action on human and environmental affairs. These include: – in the field of education: The Supreme Council perused a follow-up report by the GCC Secretariat-General on education, and expressed satisfaction at the steps taken to implement the decisions made by it, and at the development endeavours being made by the Member States.
On environment: The Supreme Council approved the regional plan of action to prepare for and respond to radiological risk as a regional plan for the prevention of radiation in the GCC as approved at the 14th Meeting of Ministers of Environment which was held in Kuwait on October 12, 2010.
On the uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes: The Supreme Council reviewed the report of the GCC Secretariat on the progress of work on detailed studies of the uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and completion of projects of technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the three regional programs in 2010, including what has been agreed upon with the IAEA on cooperation programs for the next phase 2012-2013.
In the field of joint municipal work: In support of this vital aspect, and as part of unifying legislations, regulations, frameworks, as well as relevant specifications and standards, the Council agreed upon:
-The general framework of the Unified Urban strategy of the GCC countries. The Council extended its gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its efforts in its preparation.
-The guidebook of the standards and specifications for setting up billboards in GCC states. The Council expressed its thanks and appreciation to Qatar for preparing it.
On Dialogue between the followers of religions, cultures and civilizations: The Supreme Council renewed its emphasis on the importance of strengthening dialogue between the followers of different civilizations, religions and cultures, as well as its keenness to extend bridges of convergence between nations and civilizations; as symbolized in the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques HM King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and as confirmed by the numerous conferences held under this initiative.
The Council affirmed that the dialogue between the followers of civilizations and religions is the most effective way to enhance global understanding and cooperation so as to contribute in bringing security, eliminating the causes of conflicts and unification of efforts to address the problems afflicting the world.
The Council welcomed the State of Qatar for hosting the Fourth Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in December next year which will be the turning point in the path of the Alliance of Civilizations through the broad participation of all active players.
Military cooperation and joint defence: The Supreme Council reviewed what was submitted by the Joint Defence Council at its ninth session in Kuwait on November 9, 2010 regarding the areas of military cooperation and joint defence. It also reviewed the steps and efforts taken to strengthen and develop the Peninsula Shield Joint Force, as well the progress in the development of the joint military projects on secure communications and the Cooperation Belt.
The GCC leaders also reviewed the results of preliminary studies pertaining to the defence and security as contained in the Vision of Bahrain for the development of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
They expressed satisfaction over the achievement of the Peninsula Shield Joint Force on the levels of readiness, training and efficiency and registered their appreciation to their Highnesses and Excellencies the members of the Joint Defence Council and the Supreme Military Council for their attention and follow-up to the areas of military cooperation and joint defence. They stressed permanent support to the Peninsula Shield Joint Force.
The Supreme Council also endorsed the resolutions of the Joint Defence Council at its ninth session and approved the system for the provision of insurance protection for military personnel and the workers in armed forces in the GCC States.
On Security coordination and cooperation: The Supreme Council reviewed the process of security coordination and cooperation among the member States in the light of the findings of the twenty-ninth meeting of the GCC interior ministers held in Kuwait on November 2, 2010 and ratified its decisions.
The Council expressed its satisfaction over the achievements and measures taken for the enhancement the security of Member States and the protection of the national gains in this regard, and stressed the importance of intensifying cooperation, especially in the area of the exchange of information among the security agencies in the Member States.
On Counter-Terrorism: The Council affirmed the firm stances of the GCC member States on the elimination of violence and extremism associated with terrorism, and noted its efforts in adopting the executive measures to activate the relevant decisions in this area, stressing its support for all regional and international efforts aimed at combating terrorism; at the same time emphasizing anew the need to activate the resolutions and statements issued by organizations and regional and international conferences on combating terrorism, and also urging the international community represented by the United Nations to activate the call by the GCC countries to establish an international centre for combating terrorism for the exchange of information and expertise and their coordination among countries to monitor and control the movement of organizations and terrorist elements, and thwart their plans.
The Council praised the capability, competence and readiness of the Bahraini security agencies in uncovering and dismantling a network harbouring a terrorist plan that targeted security and stability of the kingdom. It reiterated the member countries solidarity with and stand by Bahrain, as well as their absolute support, on the principles of collective security and unity of destiny, to all actions taken in confronting such terrorist acts and all types of sedition and sabotage, aimed at destabilising the country, as well as targeting and terrifying innocent citizens and residents.
The Council also commended the efforts and efficiency of the Saudi security forces and the pre-emptive operations that led to destruction of 19 terrorist cells that intended to spread chaos through a series of suicide attacks. It called on the international community to deal firmly with the terrorist and terror sponsoring groups.
The Council stressed the importance of starving financing sources for terrorist groups and foiling their criminal plots, hatched abroad and their masterminds’ attempts to find a foothold inside to spread their thought and plans against national security and capabilities. It emphasised the role of media outlets in refraining from publishing or transmitting any materials that encourage or support such criminal acts or their perpetrators.
Maritime piracy: The Council expressed appreciation to the efforts made by the GCC naval forces in combating maritime piracy and protection of shipping corridors. It wished the Bahraini naval forces success in taking the command of the International Counter-Piracy Task Force.
Legal affairs: The Council reviewed recommendations submitted by the justice ministers and approved the following:
1. Extending effect of the following amended bills as pilot laws for another four years, to be renewed automatically:
– Abu Dhabi bill for unified act (law) on conciliation and arbitration
– Abu Dhabi bill for unified act (law) on combating trafficking in persons
– Riyadh bill for unified act (law) on penal procedure
2. Extending effect of the following bills as pilot laws for another four years, to be renewed automatically:
– Muscat bill for unified GCC personal laws
– Kuwait bill for unified GCC law on custody of minors’ funds
– Doha bill for unified GCC penal law
– Kuwait bill for unified GCC civil law
– Abu Dhabi bill for unified GCC law on juveniles
– Manama bill for unified GCC law on the legal profession – Muscat bill for unified GCC law on proof – Manama bill for unified GCC law on civil procedure for
– Doha bill for unified GCC law on notary public
3. Approving the following bills as pilot laws for another four years, to be renewed automatically:
– Kuwait bill for unified law on legal and judicial cooperation in penal matters
– Kuwait bill for unified law on judicial legal submissions
– Kuwait bill for unified law on execution of judicial verdicts
– Kuwait bill for unified law on judicial staff
– Kuwait bill for unified law on expertise before judiciary
Human Rights: The Council sanctioned plans to set up the GCC office for human rights as part of the General Secretariat.
Advisory board: The Council reviewed the advisory board’s insight on the topics under study, including:
– Development of indigenous crops of high economic value such as date palms, and enhancing contribution of agricultural, livestock and fisheries resources in the Gross Domestic Product.
– Welfare of the people with special needs and prevent disability.
The Council approved the studies and referred them to the concerned ministerial committees.
The Council assigned the advisory board to study the following topics:
1. Alternative energy and resources development
2. Looking into possibility of unifying the countries’ efforts in the fields of translation and Arabisation Legislative bodies The Council expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the 4th meeting of the Speakers of GCC Legislative Councils, held in Abu Dhabi on 22 November 2010.
Media cooperation: The Council reviewed and approved the ministerial council’s recommendations on the draft 10-year strategy for joint media action.
Cooperation with Republic of Yemen: The Council reviewed the outcome of the 5th meeting of GCC and Yemen foreign ministers, held in Bahrain in June 2010, the Secretary General’s reports about cooperation between GCC countries and Yemen, and the ministerial meeting of Yemen friends, held in New York on 24 September 2010. The Council expressed the hope that the upcoming meeting for Yemen friends, to be hosted by Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2011, will lead to further support to the sisterly Republic of Yemen to enable it achieve security, stability and decent living for its citizens.
The Council ordered inclusion of Yemen as a member of the GCC joint media production corporation and congratulated Yemen on successfully hosting the Gulf Cup football tournament.
International Economic Relations: The Council reviewed a General Secretariat report on the GCC countries’ international economic relations with friendly countries and groups and welcomed the outcome of the 2nd joint ministerial meeting for strategic dialogue between the GCC ad ASEAN countries, held in Singapore on 31 May 2010. Also welcomed were the results of the 1st meeting for strategic dialogue with China, held in Beijing on 4 June 2010 and the 3rd ministerial meeting for strategic dialogue with Turkey, held in Kuwait on 17 October 2010.
The Council reviewed recommendations by the joint meeting of the GCC foreign, finance, commerce and industry ministers and the ministers responsible of the GCC Free Trade Agreements negotiations with other groups.
On the political side:
Iranian occupation of three islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates: With regard to the continued occupation of the three islands, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa of the United Arab Emirates by the Islamic Republic of Iran; The Supreme Council reasserted its firm and known stances, which were stressed by all the previous statements, through the following:.
– Support to the right of sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates on its three islands Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, as well as on the territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands as the integral part of the United Arab Emirates.
– Express regret at the failure of contacts with the Islamic Republic of Iran to bring any positive results towards resolving the issue of the three islands, which will contribute to enhancing security and stability in the region.
– Consideration of all peaceful means to restore the right of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands.
– Call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond to the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or recourse to the International Court of Justice.
Relations with Iran: The Supreme Council followed-up the developments in relations with Iran, and reiterated the importance of adhering to the essential pillars to establish good neighbourly relations, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs and resolving disputes through peaceful means and non-use of force or threats.
The Iranian nuclear file: The Supreme Council followed – up the Iranian nuclear issue with great concern, reiterating its firm position on the importance of adhering to the principles of international legitimacy, finding solutions to conflicts peacefully and making the Middle East including the Gulf region free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. The Council, at the same time, welcomed the international efforts, especially those made by the 5+1 Group to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis through peaceful means, expressing the hope that Iran will respond to these efforts.
The Council affirmed the right of countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant international Convention and the standards and procedures of the International Atomic Energy Agency and under its supervision, as well as the application of these standards to all countries in the region, including Israel and with full transparency. The Council stressed the need for Israel’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and subjugation of all its nuclear facilities to international inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Palestinian cause and the peace process in the Middle East: The Supreme Council reviewed developments in the Palestinian issue and the current developments, stressing that comprehensive, just and lasting peace can be achieved only through a full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories to the line of June 4, 1967 in Palestine and the occupied Syrian Arab Golan and the lands still under occupation in southern Lebanon, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Supreme Council welcomed what has been reached at by the Ministerial Committee of the Arab Peace Initiative, under the chairmanship of HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar at its meeting held on October 8, 2010 holding Israeli government responsible for the stoppage of direct negotiations launched by U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on September 2, 2010 as a result of its continued policy of illegal settlement and their serious implications.
The Supreme Council praised the efforts made by His Excellency and his fellow members of the Monitoring Committee in this regard.
On this basis, the Council asserted its support to the Palestinian National Authority in its stance that the return to direct negotiations requires a complete cessation of Israeli settlement activities, especially with regard to the City of East Jerusalem and in accordance with international law and resolutions of international legitimacy.
The Supreme Council affirmed its support for the establishment of an independent and joined Palestinian state suitable for life according to the principles of international legality, UN resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, and rejected any partial or interim solutions in this regard.
The Council stressed the need to respect all the legitimate Palestinian institutions, including the elected Legislative Council. The Council called on all Palestinian factions to end the division and to achieve Palestinian reconciliation immediately as the true guarantee to protect the interests of the Palestinian people.
The Supreme Council condemned Israeli draft law considering occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, as well as the projects to include the occupied city of Jerusalem in the list of Israeli cities with special priority, and warned of the danger of Israeli schemes aimed at Judaising East Jerusalem, and urged the international community to compel Israel to cease all violations aimed at Judaising East Jerusalem and changing its Islamic and Arab identity.
The Supreme Council condemned the policy of Judaisation carried out by the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem and the attempt to impose a de facto through changing the demographic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
It expressed displeasure with the demolition and excavation activities carried out by the Israeli authorities in the vicinity of Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, and called on the international community and UNESCO to shoulder responsibility towards the immediate cessation of settlement activities and Israeli settlement expansion and remove the apartheid wall and the preservation of Islamic and Christian sanctities.
The Council also condemned strongly all criminal actions in the Gaza Strip, which suffers under the unjust Israeli siege imposed since several years leaving many either dead and wounded.
The Council called on international parties, the Security Council in particular, to fully shoulder their responsibilities and take the necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people and to end immediately this tragic situation in implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1860 that calls for the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza and opening of crossings.
On the Iraqi issue: The Council lauded the call by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia to the Iraqi leaders to meet under the umbrella of Arab League. It renewed its stand on the respect for the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq, non-interference on its domestic affairs and preservation of its Arabic and Islamic identity. The Council affirmed that security and stability in Iraq require speeding up the comprehensive national reconciliation in a way that will achieve partnership among all parties and political groups in Iraq.
The Council emphasised the need for Iraq to implement all related Security Council resolutions, including maintenance of border demarcation signs, identification of Kuwaiti PoWs and missing citizens, as well as citizens of other countries and returning assets and national archive of Kuwait. It urged the United Nations and other organisations to continue their efforts towards meeting all obligations.
On the Lebanese issue: The Council renewed its support for completing the Doha Agreement among different Lebanese sides, patronised by Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. It also reiterated the issues agreed by the Lebanese sides in Al Taif Accord and praised the efforts being made by the government of Lebanon to enhance security and stability there. The Council urged all Lebanese parties to shoulder their responsibilities and to seek Lebanon’s interests through constructive dialogue, far from the tone of tension and escalation and away from any external interference.
The Council lauded the historic visit made by the Custodian of the Two holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia and President Bashar Al Asad of Syria to Lebanon, as well as the visit made by Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
On Sudanese issue: The Council welcomed the progress in the Darfur peace process following the framework agreement signed in Doha by the Sudanese government and the armed movements under the patronage of Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Sheikh Hamad was also commended for his initiative of establishing a US$2 billion bank for development in Darfur in promotion of the peace process, development and reconstruction.
The Council expressed solidarity with the Republic of Sudan, brushing off procedures taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) about the conflict in Darfur. It also expressed rejection of the accusations made by the ICC against President Omer Hassan Al Bashir of Sudan.
On the referendum agreed as per the Naivasha agreement in 2005 that helped halt the war in South Sudan, the Council said it was looking forward to see the referendum carried out on a mutually accepted ground to maintain security and stability of Sudan.
The Council welcomed Kuwait’s initiative of hosting an international conference for reconstruction of East of the Sudan, held on 1 and 2 of December. It also welcomed the outcome of the conference and the pledges made by Arab and international donors and investors to support development schemes there.
On the Somali issue: The Council reiterated support to the security, stability and unity of the sisterly Somalia. It also expressed support to the President elect Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and his legitimate government, calling on all parties in Somalia to cooperate, to mend fences and to seek the interests of Somali people as a means to end their suffering and to achieve peace across the country.
Pakistan: The Council affirmed support to the Pakistani people in these difficult times caused by floods. It called on the international community to offer all kinds of aid and humanitarian relief to fix the damages in that sisterly country.
Stand-off between South and North Koreas: The Council had followed up, with great concern, the tension in the Korean Peninsula and the bombing of the South Korean territories. It called on both parties to exercise self-restraint to maintain regional and international security and stability.
The Council expressed appreciation and gratitude to UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, current President of the Council, and to the people of the UAE for the warm welcome and hospitality for the GCC leaders. It also noted the great attention given by Sheikh Khalifa to this summit his role in the successful outcome of the summit.
The Council also expressed appreciation to the efforts made by the outgoing GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah, whose tenure will end by late March 2011.
The Council decided to appoint Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, from the Kingdom of Bahrain, as the GCC Secretary General. The leaders welcomed the invitation by the Custodian of the Two holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia to attend the 32nd GCC summit in Saudi Arabia in 2011.