Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders, concluding a three-day Summit in Kuwait today, condemned all aspects of terrorism and violence regardless of its source, and called for the adoption of an international treaty to combat terrorism.
In the final communiqué of the 18th Summit, the leaders asserted that terrorism is a global phenomena “not restricted to one nation or region” and expressed regret over the fact that “some states are giving refuge to certain terrorist elements under the pretext of human rights protection.” The GCC leaders appealed to these states to act against the use of their lands and laws by terrorist elements for support and aid.
The leaders also rejected and denounced interference in the judicial systems of the GCC states by the European Parliament and other international organizations and agencies.
On the issue of Iraq, the GCC leaders expressed sympathy for the Iraqi people suffering under UN trade sanctions imposed following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and called on Iraq to take the necessary steps to confirm its peaceful intentions towards the State of Kuwait and states of the region in words and deeds. The GCC statement said Iraq must implement all U.N. Security Council resolutions related to the aggression against the State of Kuwait and renewed its support for the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with disarming Iraq.
On the issue of the Middle East peace process, the GCC leaders criticized Israel for slowing down the peace process by refusing to honor international agreements and treaties, and condemned Israeli settlement policies in the Occupied Territories. The communiqué also called for complete Israeli troop withdrawals from the occupied West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The leaders called for both Iraq and Israel to be prohibited from amassing weapons of mass destruction.
Gulf leaders welcomed Iranian overtures to foster closer ties but added that such ties should be for the purpose of establishing security and peace in the region, and strongly urged an amicable settlement through peaceful means between Iran and the United Arab Emirates over the three islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tumb and Lesser Tumb. The GCC affirmed that Iran should accept the UAE’s offer to submit the island dispute to the International Court of Justice. However, the body welcomes Iranian offers to open a dialogue on the matter with UAE leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyyan in Abu Dhabi but asked that Iran stop construction and vacate already established installations on these islands.
On economic issues, the leaders also approved steps for the GCC member states to begin implementing more unified economic policies and is taking steps to complete a commodities classification for a unified customs tariff schedule. The GCC leaders also approved measures allowing GCC national banks to open branches in member states and agreed that the proper laws should be created to encourage more participation by the private sector.
The communiqué also noted that the leaders approved the implementation of the first phase of an electricity power grid to link all the member states.