Leaders of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held their fifth consultative summit in Riyadh today. Participating, in addition to Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, were Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa; Emir of Qatar Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani; Kuwait's First Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah; Deputy Premier of Oman Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Saeed; and Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, Abu Dhabi's Heir Apparent and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates. Also present were Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, and GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atiyyah.
In a press statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting, the leaders expressed pleasure at the recovery of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz following successful eye surgery and wished him good health. They then congratulated Qatar on ratification of its permanent constitution. The statement went on to condemn the terrorist acts in Riyadh and in Casablanca, affirming that Islam prohibits such crimes, renewing denunciation of all forms of extremism and violence, and calling for intensification of international efforts to combat and eradicate terrorism.
On Iraq, the statement expressed deep concern over the continued violence and insecurity, noting that this will aggravate the suffering of the Iraqi people and threaten Iraq's territorial integrity. It called on the United Nations and members of the Security Council, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, to address the issue of Iraq, protect its rights and cultural heritage, and enable the Iraqi people to administer their country's affairs so that Iraq can return to the international community and coexist peacefully with its neighbors.
On the latest developments in the Middle East peace process, the statement welcomed the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and the official publication of the 'roadmap'. They stressed their support of the roadmap, urging acceleration of its implementation with all its rights and references including the Arab peace initiative aimed at regaining the occupied Arab territories in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon and achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. In this regard, the statement called on Israel to accept the roadmap without reservation and implement it without delay.