GCC leaders hold their 13th Consultative Meeting

May 11, 2011

Under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the leaders and heads of delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states held their 13th Consultative Meeting at Dir’iya Palace in Riyadh yesterday. The summit was attended by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum; Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa; Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahd bin Mahmud Al-Said; Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani; Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; and GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al-Zayani.

During the proceedings, the GCC leaders reviewed the latest regional developments, focusing particularly on foreign interference in Bahrain, negotiations between Yemeni factions, and Palestinian reconciliation. They also reviewed the progress made in furthering cooperation between GCC countries.

In a press statement released after the meeting, Secretary General Al-Zayani said that the delegates fully sided with Bahrain in its efforts to restore security and vowed to unite as one to face any danger threatening any GCC country. They welcomed the entry into Bahrain of the joint Peninsula Shield Force and praised the decision of the Bahraini government to lift the “state of national safety” on June 1st. In this regard, the leaders expressed profound concern over the continual Iranian interference into the domestic affairs of GCC countries. They accused Iran of spreading sedition, sectarianism and conspiracy within societies to the detriment of national security, in flagrant violation of the principles of sovereignty, good neighborliness and international norms and laws.

The meeting also included a briefing on the latest contacts made with Yemeni political factions regarding a draft agreement proposed by the GCC. The delegates urged the Yemenis to sign the pact in order to break the current impasse and to avoid a further deterioration in security and an increase in political rifts.

The GCC welcomed the Palestinian national reconciliation arrangement reached in Cairo, calling for the Palestinian signatories to live up to their words and to take advantage of this historical opportunity to restore their rights and establish an independent state.

Finally, the delegations welcomed the requests by Jordan and Morocco to join the GCC and invited the countries’ foreign ministers to enter into negotiations to finalize membership agreements.

The Saudi delegation to the meeting included Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz; Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Chief of General Intelligence Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz; Secretary General of the National Security Council Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz; Commander of the National Guard Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Advisor to the King Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; President of the Cabinet Presidency Court Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf; and Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja.