The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met yesterday in Muscat in the second of the consultative sessions agreed on last year. The leaders attending were Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed of Oman; Sheikh Jabir Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar; Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the Emir of Bahrain; Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zaid Al-Nahayan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces; Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard; and GCC Secretary-General Jameel Bin Ibrahim Al-Hujailan. It was also attended by the foreign ministers of the six GCC member states.
In a press statement following the meeting, the GCC leaders expressed satisfaction at the normalization of relations between Bahrain and Qatar. They also praised the ongoing high-level bilateral visits among the member states, saying these are paving the way for signing economic, border and diplomatic agreements, such as that on facilitation of the movement of citizens within the GCC using ID cards only.
The GCC leaders were briefed on the efforts exerted by the tripartite committee assigned to devise a mechanism for conducting negotiations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Islamic Republic of Iran for the settlement of their dispute over the three islands (Greater and Lesser Tunb, and Abu Moussa). In this respect, they reiterated the GCC's desire to establish close relations with Iran for their mutual benefit, based on trust, good neighborliness, respect for each other's rights, and non-interference in the domestic affairs of others.
The GCC leaders also discussed the Middle East peace process, the situation in Iraq, Bahrain's proposal for enhancing military cooperation, the proposed customs union, the project for a common electric power grid, and the on-going negotiations with the European Union on signing a free trade agreement.