2001 News Story

GCC establishes joint defense council

Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz led the Saudi delegation to the 20th session of the defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The one-day session in Manama yesterday was chaired by Bahraini defense minister General Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, who stressed the importance of military coordination among the GCC states and expressed the hope that terrorist threats will be contained through international efforts. The ministers approved recommendations submitted by the GCC chiefs of staff pertaining to defense policies, and agreed to establish a joint defense council. Addressing the meeting, GCC Secretary-General Shaikh Jameel Al-Hujailan reported progress in military cooperation, with GCC air force central commands linked with early warning systems, and work under way for acquiring a satellite for military purposes. The establishment of a joint defense council, he said, reflects activation of Article (9) of the agreement signed at the 21st GCC Summit concerning collective confrontation of a danger threatening any member state. Today the meeting's participants were received by Emir of Bahrain Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who stressed the importance of the joint defense agreement for the GCC.