1998 News Story

GCC foreign ministers issue statement

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal headed the Saudi delegation to the 19th extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states - Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - which was held today in Kuwait.  Following the meeting the foreign ministers issued a statement urging Iraq to respond positively to efforts aimed at defusing the tension in a peaceful manner, but reaffirming the position that Iraq remains fully responsible for the current standoff with the United Nations.

The statement said that the Iraqi regime is required to implement the will of the international community as represented by the United Nations Security Council, and stressed that the Iraqi people are paying the price of the policy of the Baghdad regime, saying:  "The current crisis is a direct result of Baghdad's reluctance to cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors and its determination to defy the will of the international community with respect to the elimination of its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction."
The statement went on to say that the ministers deemed unacceptable the unilateral actions by Iraq which have led to the current standoff.  Reiterating their support of diplomatic efforts to defuse the tension, the ministers underlined that Baghdad was continuing its hard-line policy without regard to the repercussions on the region.  The statement said:  "The only solution that will spare the people of Iraq additional hardship and danger is implementation by the Iraqi regime of the UN resolutions which it  agreed to."   The ministers called on Iraq to respond positively to efforts aimed at defusing the tension, saying this is the only way to ease the sanctions mandated against it, and stressed their concern for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq.