GCC Ministerial Council holds 134th session in Riyadh with UAE participation

RIYADH, 12th March, 2015 (WAM) — Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, today led the UAE delegation to the 134th session of the Ministerial Council of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States, which was held in Riyadh.

In his opening speech, Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Qatari Foreign Minister, and Chairman of the current session, expressed his deep appreciation for the efforts made during the last session of the Preparatory session of the 35th session of the GCC Supreme Council which was held last year, saying it had a deep impact on the achievements and the decisions being reached to achieve solidarity and integration among the GCC countries in various fields.

The Qatari Foreign Minister also thanked the GCC Secretary-General, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Assistant Secretaries-General, and all employees of the Secretariat of the Cooperation Council, for their efforts in making preparations for this meeting, which, he said, is being held under exceptional international and regional circumstances and precise and unprecedented challenges facing the Gulf region, and the Arab region as a whole, impact of which can be seen as affecting international peace and security.

Dr. Khalid Al-Attiyah went on to stress the GCC’s position towards the crisis in Yemen, reiterating its support for the constitutional legitimacy represented by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and rejecting various measures being made to impose a fait accompli by force.

He also called on various parties and political forces to give priority to the interests of Yemen and its people, and to work towards completing the implementation of the political process in accordance with the results of national dialogue and GCC initiatives, based on the participation of all spectra in a fair and equitable manner, so as to enhance the unity and stability of Yemen, and welcomed the decision made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, to host meetings for Yemeni dialogue.

Regarding the Palestinian conflict, the Qatari Foreign Minister said, “The Palestinian issue remains a priority and occupies the conscience of all of us and those who believe in the values ??of Islam, justice, and freedom, and requires us and the international community to exert all efforts to end the Israeli occupation in the light of Israel’s continued defiance of the international community in continuing its settlement activities and the Judaisation of the holy land, its unjust blockade of the Gaza Strip and the attempt to impose Israeli Jewish identity on the Islamic and Christian monuments.”. Stressing that the region will not enjoy stability and peace unless Israel rids itself of its aggressive tendencies and resorts to peace.

Minister Al-Attiyah also stressed the GCC’s permanent and firm position in support of the Palestinian people and its plans to continue working together to mobilise the international community’s support and force Israel to comply with international legitimacy and for the Palestinian people to be given their legitimate rights.

He explained that one of the important reasons for the failure of previous peace process attempts was due to “the exaggerated focus on procedural issues, partial interim solutions, and the depletion of efforts without achieving the just peace desired, which requires the international community, especially the Security Council, to take necessary measures to ensure an end to this occupation, and enable the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on its borders as per pre-June 5th, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital in line with the relevant terms of reference regarding peace, especially the Madrid Conference, the Arab Peace Initiative, and international legitimacy resolutions.” On the Syrian crisis, the Qatari Foreign Minister said that the tragedy of the Syrian people has been growing for more than four years, with the “Syrian regime still clinging to power even at the cost of the skulls of children, women, and the elderly,” adding that the number of victims and displaced people is increasing daily and the humanitarian situation is worsening by the day for Syrians inside and outside Syria.

The Foreign Minister went on to stress that the Syrian situation requires a rapid and effective intervention by the UN and the international community, especially the Security Council, by taking measures to ensure deterrence, protect civilians and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people in besieged places and across the Syrian territories and outside.

On Iraq, Al-Attiyah said countries of the GCC reaffirm their support for Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, and for supporting the Iraqi government to achieve security and stability, and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and support for extending Iraq’s sovereignty over all its territory.

Speaking about Libya he stressed the GCC’s strong position regarding the latest developments there and in support of a national dialogue among all Libyan parties, saying, “The only way out of the repercussions of the Libyan crisis is possible through a political solution that respects the needs of the Libyan people and meets their legitimate aspirations of security, stability and the formation of a political system in which all Libyans enjoy equal rights without exclusion or marginalization, away from foreign interventions and create conditions for the reconstruction of the state and its institutions with the participation of all political and social Libyan forces.” He added, “In this regard, we reaffirm our support and our support for UN efforts and Libya’s neighbours who aim at activating the national dialogue among all the brotherly Libyan people to reach a political solution to choose a system that reflects the aspirations and hopes that works for them in the long run.” The foreign minister also stressed the GCC’s hard stance towards nuclear disarmament in the Middle East, while recognising the rights of countries in the region to possess nuclear expertise in the field of nuclear energy in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency standards.

He said, “We renew our call to Iran to respond to international efforts to reach a political settlement of its nuclear programme to achieve security and stability in the region.” Al-Attiyah also said that the procedures, mechanisms, and measures the GCC has taken to combat the spread of the growing phenomenon of terrorism reflects its consistent position in rejecting this dangerous blight in all its forms and irrespective of the source, stressing the GCC’s support for every regional and international effort being made to combat this phenomenon.

Concluding his speech, Al-Attiyah said that he looked forward for the meeting to achieve more coordination and cooperation between, “our countries in various fields that will contribute to achieving unity, interconnectedness and integration, and to strengthen the security and stability of our countries and the prosperity of our peoples.” The closed session commenced during which the ministers discussed a number of issues related to political, economic, security and military fields.