2003 News Story

GCC foreign ministers hold 86th ministerial session

The foreign ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded their two-day 86th ministerial session in Doha, Qatar today, and issued a final statement that dealt with the Iraqi crisis and developments in the Palestinian situation as well as aspects of joint cooperation among GCC states.

The statement stressed the importance of Iraq's compliance with UN Security Council resolution 1441, and other relevant resolutions, in order to avert the woes of a destructive war. The statement called for giving more time to the UN inspectors as well as to Arab and international diplomatic efforts in order to realize the goal of disarming Iraq and freeing it from weapons of mass destruction; welcomed Iraq's unconditional acceptance of implementation of Resolution 1441 and cooperation with the UN inspectors; and reiterated the importance of preserving Iraq's independence and unity.

The GCC foreign ministers went on to confirm support of the United Arab Emirates' right to the three islands in the Arabian Gulf, and called for a peaceful solution for UAE's dispute with Iran, in a way that enhances GCC-Iranian relations and contributes positively to security and stability in the region. The statement then condemned Israel's repressive measures against the Palestinians, calling for an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and recognition of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination including establishment of an independent state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital. The foreign ministers called for the Middle East region to be made a zone that is free from all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear arms, and urged Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspection of its nuclear installations by the International Agency for Atomic Energy.