Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa chaired the inaugural session of the 37th GCC Summit, which took place at Al-Sakhir Palace in Manama, in presence of Gulf leaders and GCC Secretary General.
King Hamad hailed the strides of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), saying that it is no longer just a tool to consolidate achievements, but a regional power that takes the initiative to maintain security and peace in the region and the world.
He highlighted the GCC pivotal and active role in seeking political solutions and initiatives to the crises facing countries in the region and staving off foreign interference in their internal affairs. He further commended the GCC member states’ dedicated efforts to achieve economic development, hailing landmark strides, which contribute to citizens’ prosperity and well-being and strengthen joint march.
King Hamad urged the GCC countries to upgrade and activate defense and security pacts to confront threats and terrorism. He also hailed the Arabian Security 1 drills, which were held in Bahrain last month, and described them as an essential quantum leap towards strengthening security cooperation, commending the efficient organization and the alertness to security dangers surrounding the GCC countries.
For his part, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz (photo) stressed that the current circumstances in the region are highly complicated and “require all of us to work together to confront them in a spirit of responsibility and determination and intensify efforts in order to consolidate the foundations of security and stability of our region as well as development and prosperity for our countries and peoples.”
On the situation in Yemen, King Salman affirmed that efforts are being exerted to end the struggle there in what could achieve security and stability under the leadership of its legitimate government and according to the GCC initiative, outcomes of the national dialogue and UN Security Council resolution No. 2216, thanks to the endeavors offered by the UN special envoy to Yemen.
As for Syria, King Salman said: “We are all saddened to see what is happening there, including killings, displacement and suffering of the Syrian people, mounting pressure on the world community to intensify efforts to stop bloodshed and find a political solution guaranteeing the achievement of security and stability as well as preserving the unity and integrity of the Syrian territories.”
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah that the GCC summit comes amid rapid international changes and critical conditions that necessitate continuing consultations and joint coordination to consider and preclude relevant reflections on the GCC countries.
He said the region is currently facing grave challenges, citing dwindling oil prices as a major concern. He spoke of notable achievements brought about by joint GCC work, which includes economic gains that represent the aspirations of GCC citizens.
On the scourge of terrorism, he said “it poses a threat to regional security and stability,” calling for concerted efforts to eliminate this mounting threat.
Speaking on developments in Iraq, the Emir of Kuwait expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the fight against the so-called Daesh.
Regarding the Palestinian conflict, he regretted that efforts to achieve peace remain at an impasse, noting that the international community is preoccupied with other issues.
Speaking on ties with Iran, the Emir of Kuwait said there need to be constructive dialogue between the GCC and the Islamic Republic of Iran, noting that the talks should focus on international law principles, including sovereign rights and non-interference in internal affairs of other states.
GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani highlighted the importance of deepening integration in all fields of joint action, pointing out that the ministerial council has submitted to the summit all recommendations aiming to enhance the GCC joint march in all fields.