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Landmark decisions at end of GCC summit

Muawia E. Ibrahim
Filed on December 19, 2005

ABU DHABI Leaders of the six GCC member states wrapped up their 26th Summit here on Monday with a set of landmark decisions on the most sensitive dossiers in the fields of security and defence, economy, terrorism and peace in the Middle East.


The statement, however, did not mention Iran specifically, which Khaleej Times described yesterday as a 'reverse of stand' towards the issue by the GCC Supreme Council.

However, the statement included the 'customary' call by the Gulf leaders to Iran to accept a solution to the long-standing dispute over the UAE islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs. It regretted that no 'progress' was being made in terms of negotiations.

On the situation in Iraq, the leaders welcomed the conduct of the parliament elections in Iraq recently and expressed the hope that a new chapter in the modern history of Iraq would be opened as a result.

The results of the elections, the statement added, would lead to Iraq's territorial integrity, stability, self governance, return as an active member within its Arab and international peripheries and ability to live in peace with its neighbours.

The Supreme Council denounced what it described as 'deliberate mass killing of Iraqis, Kuwaiti prisoners and detainees and people of other nationalities committed by formers Iraqi regime and the unearthed mass graves in flagrant violation of human rights, Islamic and Arab principles, ethics and values.'

It also condemned the terrorist acts against civilians, humanitarian and religious establishments. It also condemned attacks, destruction and threats against Iraqi infrastructure.

The GCC leaders further reaffirmed their pledge to reconstruct Iraq.

On the Middle East, the statement stressed a fair and comprehensive peace would only be achieved upon the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and Sheba' a Farms in Southern Lebanon.

The summit further called on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and subject all its nuclear facilities to international inspection, demanding the international community to put pressure on Israel to this effect.

It also denounced the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al Hariri and repeated assassinations of the Lebanese leaders, underlining keenness of the GCC member states to support the political, security and economic stability of the Lebanese people.

Exhorting the Lebanese to mend fences, the statement condemned Israel's repeated attacks on Lebanon's sovereignty and independence.

The summit also adopted the 'Abu Dhabi Declaration' which stressed that member states should focus on education and development of human resources in order to confront global challenges.

The 27th GCC Summit will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at the invitation of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.





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