GCC Foreign Ministers issue a final statement

June 15, 2011

The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued a final statement following the conclusion of their 119th Ministerial Council session in Jeddah yesterday.

The delegates included Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah; Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa; UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al-Mahmoud; Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Khalid Sulaiman Al-Jarallah; and GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani.

The Council expressed its satisfaction over GCC achievements in the economic, military, security, social, legal, cultural, and informational fields.

The delegates commended the important role played by the Peninsula Shield Force in Bahrain, stressing the commitment of the GCC to defend and enhance the security, stability and national interests of all member states. The ministers welcomed the decree issued by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa calling for an end to the state of national emergency on July 1st and directing authorities to begin a comprehensive, unconditional dialogue to reach a national consensus.

The Council also expressed appreciation for the positive role played by Qatar, under the leadership of Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in support of the peace and development process in Darfur.

In the field of counterterrorism, the statement affirmed the policy of the GCC member states to renounce violence and extremism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever the motive or justification.

The Council condemned Iran’s continuing intervention and blatant provocations in the internal affairs of the GCC states. Iran’s attempts to sow discord and promote sectarian strife in the Arab countries constitute a violation of sovereignty and contradict international norms and laws and the principles of good neighborliness, it said. Regarding the Iranian nuclear file, the Council stressed the importance of resolving the dispute by internationally legitimate, peaceful means. While affirming the right of countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the ministers called for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.

Regarding the Palestinian cause and the Middle East peace process, the Council stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace can only be achieved by Israel’s complete withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.

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