Attack on one of us attack on all of us: GCC Summit

Closing remarks by GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al Hajraf stressed the importance of joint efforts by Gulf states to face threats



By WAM, Reuters

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2021, 10:59 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 9:10 AM

The GCC leaders affirmed on Tuesday the importance of completing pillars of the GCC common economic, defence and security integration and unity and coordinating stances in order to enhance solidarity and stability among GCC member states, serve their interests, avert them regional and international conflicts, fulfill aspirations of their people and strengthen their regional and international role through unified political positions and new partnerships regionally and globally.

Common policies

According to the Riyadh Declaration issued at the end of the 42nd GCC Summit, leaders stressed the vital need for common foreign policies of member states to build a shared, effective foreign policy that serves aspirations and ambitions of their people and preserve their interests and gains and keep them away from regional and international conflicts and interferences in their internal affairs.

The leaders called for strategic integration between common economic, defence and security policies to achieve aspired goals and called member states to commit themselves to collective action under the Joint Defence Agreement to confront common challenges and threats.

Climate change

Addressing the climate change, the leaders also called for backing the Saudi Arabia's circular carbon economy strategy launched during its presidency of the G20 to tackle climate change and its impact and achieve sustainability.

Covid-19

The leaders stressed the need for continuing the joint cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and other pandemics and developing affective policies and strategies to deal with such health emergencies and address their economic and social repercussions as well as travel and movement between GCC member states.

Digital transformation

The leaders stressed the importance of enhancing joint action towards digital transformation and modern technologies, enhancing cooperation and building alliances in the field of cyber and information security in line with the aspirations of the GCC member states, supporting the role of youth, the private sector and small and medium enterprises in the growth of economic diversification and digital transformation, and encouraging partnerships, projects and initiatives in this field.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Council of the GCC lauded the efforts made by the UAE to tackle climate change and to offer support to global efforts by hosting the COP28 in Abu Dhabi in 2023.

It also congratulated the UAE for successfully hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, which, it added, is a success for all GCC countries.

The Supreme Council reaffirmed its keenness to furthering coherence among the member countries and to realise integration in all fields, in a way that would fulfill aspirations of its people and unify ranks to confront any threats against any of the GCC countries.

The Declaration also referred to the objectives set out in Al Ula Declaration, issued on January 5, 2021 and the shared desire to align with the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for working towards economic unity and joint defence and security system.

The Supreme Council assigned organisations, councils and ministerial committees, as well as the GCC General Secretariat, to double efforts to complete implementation of the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, including acceleration of the establishment of the customs union and the various tracks of the GCC Common Market, in the lead up to a full economic unity of the GCC by 2025. It also mandated the General Secretariat to submit a detailed report for the next session of the Council.

The Supreme Council approved the establishment of the GCC Railways Authority, commended the opening of the GCC unified military command in Riyadh and took note of the preparation for the military exercise "Arab Gulf Security 3", scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in January 2022.

The Supreme Council reaffirmed respect for the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in other countries’ internal affairs. It also renewed its firm stance in rejection of terrorism and extremism, regardless of their sources and forms.

The Supreme Council welcomed holding of its 43rd session under Oman’s presidency.

Iran

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the summit the nuclear and missile programmes of Iran should be handled “seriously and effectively” amid global efforts to revive a nuclear pact with Tehran.

Speaking before a closed session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, he also said Riyadh, which has launched its own direct talks with Iran, supported resolving conflict through dialogue.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, led the UAE delegation to the summit.

Sheikh Mohammed was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also welcomed the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain; and Kuwaiti Crown Prince Mishaal Al Jaber Al Sabah on their arrival in Riyadh.

Closing remarks read by GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al Hajraf stressed the importance of joint efforts by Gulf states to face threats and to avoid regional and international conflicts.

“Member states of the GCC consider that any attack on any of them is an attack on them all, and any danger that threatens one of them is threatening them all,” he said.

Prince Mohammed had visited Gulf states ahead of the summit in a tour aimed at highlighting solidarity as global powers seek to revive a nuclear pact with Iran, amid deepening Gulf uncertainty about the US role in the region.

Iran’s new president has said his foreign policy priority would be improving ties with Gulf neighbours.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said earlier that the summit comes at a delicate and sensitive time. The region’s security will be a key item on the agenda.


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