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GCC leaders call for unity - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi's Crown Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz arrives in the Bahraini capital of Manama. (AFP)

Saudi’s Crown Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz arrives in the Bahraini capital of Manama. (AFP)

Manama, Asharq Al-Awsat – At the 33rd Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Summit meeting, Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Defense Minister, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, stressed the need for a Gulf union and hoped that its member states would approve the proposal by the next GCC summit to be held in Riyadh.

In his speech the Crown prince said that the GCC Summit is being held under sensitive conditions “that requires us to reflect on the GCC work that had started more than 31 years ago.

He added, the GCC achievements do not rise to the hopes and aspirations needed, stressing on the importance of additional efforts to strengthen joint GCC work.

Prince Salman highlighted the importance of the Saudi initiative during the 32nd meeting in Riyadh of transition from the cooperation stage to the Union in order to achieve single entity.

“We look forward to a strong union that meets the hopes of GCC citizens via completing economic unity and establishing a promote economic and social environment, unifying foreign policy in addition to building a joint defense and security mechanism to achieve collective security for our countries and protect its interests.” Prince Salman said.

Prince Salman is heading his country’s delegation that includes Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud Al- Faisal and other senior officials.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al- Khalifa stressed the need to enhance cooperation among Gulf States toward forming a union. King Hamad told GCC leaders that to move forward it is imperative to unite.

“The GCC, since its inception in 1981, is an example of unity to the Arab world,” the king said.

“It is important for us to make the world free from conflict, terrorism and promote coexistence among groups. Gulf citizens are eagerly waiting for this meeting that will benefit and support them,” he said.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al Zayani said the GCC acknowledged the rapid changes in the Arab world — in particular on the political and economic fronts — that require steps and reforms.

“The GCC has proven its clout and cohesion, withstanding fast regional and Arab political and economic changes and upheavals,” said Al Zayani.

He affirmed the ability of the GCC to fend off foreign intervention in its internal affairs targeting its interests, stability and security.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders attend the opening of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states on the eve of the annual GCC summit at the Sakhir Palace in Manama. (AFP)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders attend the opening of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states on the eve of the annual GCC summit at the Sakhir Palace in Manama. (AFP)

Men walk along the corridor at the Sakhir Palace in Manama, on December 24, 2012, as delegates attend the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit. (AFP)

Men walk along the corridor at the Sakhir Palace in Manama, on December 24, 2012, as delegates attend the annual Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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