1999 News Story

GCC foreign ministers issue communiqué

The foreign ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ended

their 72nd session in Jeddah today by issuing a communiqué. First, however, the foreign

ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates extended their

condolences to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz on the death last

month of Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. 

The communiqué expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the 50th meeting of the GCC

financial and economical committee in Riyadh in May, regarding the establishment of a GCC

customs union;  at the outcome of the 10th and 11th meetings of the committee covering

cooperation in power and water, which discussed the establishment, as a joint stock

company, of the electric grid corporation, headquartered in Saudi Arabia; and at the

outcome of the 11th meeting of the ministerial committee on post and telecommunications,

which discussed a proposal for an eventual reduction in the cost of making telephone calls

within the GCC.
The meeting also reviewed the minutes of the 8th meeting of the ministerial committee for

planning and development, and its proposal to unify the timing of the general censuses in

the member states. After hearing a report on the progress of negotiations with the European

Union regarding finalization of the agreement on free trade zones, the meeting agreed that

the State of Bahrain take the post of chairman of the GCC mission in Brussels, effective

Reviewing the current oil situation, the communiqué expressed satisfaction at the

improvement in prices and the degree of commitment to the production quotas agreement.
Turning to Iraq, the communiqué noted that the Iraqi government, nine years after its

invasion of Kuwait, is still procrastinating in the matter of implementation of the UN

resolutions.  The communiqué regretted that the Iraqi regime continues to to reject Arab as

well as international initiatives aimed at reaching an effective mechanism for lifting the

UN sanctions and ending the sufferings of the Iraqi people.  The communiqué reaffirmed the

GCC's demand that the Iraqi government implement all UN Security Council resolutions,

particularly with regard to the release of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and other detainees and

the return of Kuwait property. It reiterated that Iraq is still under the obligation to

prove its peaceful intent towards its neighbors, and to recognize that its invasion of the

State of Kuwait was a breach of Arab as well as international legal charters. The GCC

continues to sympathize with the Iraqi people on their sufferings, which persist due to the

intransigence of its government.
On the Middle East peace process, the communiqué expressed satisfaction at the latest

agreement between the Palestinians and Israel. It reiterated the GCC's belief that Arab

rights, including that of establishing an independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its

capital, should be restored in line with the UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and

425, on the basis of the Madrid Conference and the principle of land for peace. The GCC

supports Syria in its right to the Golan Heights, and Lebanon to the southern part of its

territory, and calls on co-sponsors of peace the United States and the European Union, to

exert greater efforts to revive the peace process, particularly the negotiations on the

Syrian and Lebanese tracks.
The communiqué expressed sympathy with the people of Turkey stricken by the recent

devastating earthquake. It announced that the GCC has set up a fund to help alleviate the

sufferings of the Turkish people, in recognition of the historic Islamic and cultural ties

that bind them to the peoples of the Arabian Gulf. A joint technical team will visit Turkey

to survey projects for the GCC to finance.
The communiqué also expressed concern at the developments in East Timor, and hoped that the

world community would support Indonesia in its endeavor to control the situation and

restore stability and security to the region.