The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia, concluded in Jeddah today their 80th session, chaired by Bahraini foreign minister Shaikh Muhammad bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa.
A communiqué read at the end of the two-day meeting by GCC Secretary-General Ibrahim Al-Hujailan praised the two agreements between Bahrain and Kuwait on diplomatic and consular cooperation as an important step in boosting joint action among the member states, and welcomed the appointment of Ahmad Ahmad Al-Amer as head of the GCCs delegation to Brussels. The statement reported that the meeting had reviewed recommendations concerning synchronizing the dates of general censuses in order to achieve the aims of demographic strategies; studied proposals on how to adapt to economic, social, local, regional and international developments; and approved resolutions on strengthening cooperation among member states in the field of urban planning.
On foreign issues, the communiqué strongly condemned Iraq's policy of threatening its neighbors, and urged the Iraqi government to halt these threats, fulfill its obligations in accordance with United Nations resolutions regarding cooperation with the Red Cross and other international committees, and find a quick resolution to the problem of detained Kuwaitis and the return of all Kuwaiti property in its possession. It also called on Iraq to cooperate with the United Nations in dealing with outstanding matters concerning weapons of mass destruction, and to implement UN resolutions in order to end the sufferings of the Iraqi people.
Concerning the three islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates (Lesser and Greater Tunbs and Abu Moussa) that are still under occupation by Iran, the communiqué expressed complete support for all UAE's steps to regain its sovereignty over the islands by peaceful means.
The GCC foreign ministers again condemned Israel's violence against the Palestinians and the assassination of key Palestinian leaders; expressed surprise at the fact that Israeli atrocities are ignored by the international community; demanded that the international community put pressure on Israel to meet its responsibilities regarding the Middle East peace process; warned against deterioration of the situation in Palestine that will lead to the collapse of security and stability in the entire region; and reiterated its demand that the international community, notably the United States, the European Union, and Russia, step in to halt Israeli violence, provide international protection, and end the occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands. They stressed the illegality of the Israeli settlements, pointing out that they form a serious threat to security; condemned the escalation of violence by the Israeli government against neighboring countries; and reaffirmed its support for Syrian's principled stand regarding full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights.
Prior to the session, the foreign ministers met with the GCC Consultative Council to discuss the latter's views on education, energy, the environment, water strategies, and scientific and technological research. These will be submitted to the GCC Supreme Council meeting in Oman.