Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) unanimously agreed to fulfill their commitments on safeguarding the security of the Gulf region following the conclusion of the 132nd GCC Ministerial Council in Jeddah on Saturday.
The meeting was chaired by Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Jaber Al Sabah and attended by GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani as well as GCC foreign ministers.
In his opening speech, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid warned against “the unprecedented growth of terrorism among groups that use Islam as a cover,” expressing the GCC’s condemnation of the practices of these groups.
He called on the international community to “implement the UN resolutions, shoulder its humanitarian role, protect the Palestinian people as per the Geneva Convention, lift the blockade on Gaza, rebuild Gaza and exert efforts to resume the peace talks, which would lead to setting up a sovereign and independent Palestinian state whose capital will be East Jerusalem in accordance to the borders of June 4, 1967.”
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid did not clarify the GCC’s position on the issue of the Saudi Arabian, Bahraini and UAE ambassadors who were recalled from Doha following an inter-GCC diplomatic spat over Qatar. But he said that the meeting produced a positive and fraternal outcome reflecting the member states’ awareness of the risks that threaten the region.
He said: “These risks must be overcome. Therefore, the foundations have been laid in order to follow up on implementation, overcome this phase, turn a new leaf, and set out to face the present challenges.”
For his part, GCC Secretary-General Zayani stressed the need to confront and fight terrorism, calling for the activation of Saudi Arabia’s initiative which led to the establishment of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center in 2011. He also called on member states to support the move towards fostering solidarity among Gulf States.
Regarding Yemen, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid said: “Over the past years the GCC states have been exerting efforts to ensure security and stability in Yemen and achieve the aspirations of its people.”
He added that the GCC has taken the decision to dispatch an envoy to Yemen to monitor the current developments and discuss the emergency situation there.