The Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries concluded their 103rd session last night in Jeddah. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal.
In a final communiqué, the foreign ministers called for a collective international effort to fight terrorism and stressed the importance of implementing the resolutions of the Riyadh Declaration issued by the Counter-terrorism International Conference hosted by the Kingdom in February 2005.
On Iran’s nuclear program, the GCC foreign ministers confirmed their support for resolving disputes through peaceful means. They called on Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and continue dialogue with the international community on the issue.
The ministers also called for a Middle East region – including the Gulf – free of weapons of mass destructions. They reiterated that countries of the region have a right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within the framework of international agreements and laws.
Turning to Iraq, the foreign ministers highlighted the importance of preserving Iraq’s sovereignty, unity and independence as well as its Arab and Islamic integrity, and expressed support for national reconciliation efforts. They condemned any effort to partition Iraq or promote sectarianism in the country. They also called for nonintervention in Iraq’s internal affairs.
On the situation in Palestine, the foreign ministers expressed sorrow at recent developments in Gaza and urged the Palestinians to use dialogue to settle their internal disputes and avoid further bloodshed. They expressed support for President Mahmoud Abbas as well as the other legitimate Palestinian institutions.
The communiqué also called on the international community to work towards resolving the Palestinian-Israeli crisis within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative and denounced Israel’s failure to respond positively to peace efforts.
Regarding Lebanon, the communiqué condemned the assassination of Lebanese Member of Parliament Walid Eido and the killing of Spanish soldiers in Lebanon. The foreign ministers urged the Lebanese to collectively confront the criminal efforts to destabilize their country and urged all Lebanese parties to resolve their issues through negotiations.
On other issues, the ministers reiterated the UAE’s rightful claim to three islands currently occupied by Iran, and urged Iran to respond positively to international efforts to resolve the problem through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice. They also expressed appreciation for the Sudanese government’s efforts to resolve the issue of Darfur, and urged Somalia to settle its internal disputes through dialogue.
The ministers also expressed condolences to Oman for the deadly cyclone that struck the Sultanate recently.