GCC Summit Concludes in Doha

Gulf News11.12.2014 Qatar
GCC Summit Concludes in Doha

GCC Summit Concludes in Doha

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The leaders and heads of delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states concluded the 35th session of the GCC Supreme Council Summit at the Doha Sheraton Hotel Tuesday evening, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called upon the international community to intensify its efforts to confront terrorism and tackle its roots and causes. He said that terrorism witnessed throughout the world, and particularly in the Arab region, highlighted the need to address its roots.

“We have to pay attention to a simple equation that violence, persecution, repression and hopelessness lead to violence,” he said. He stressed that there was also a need to make sure that terrorism does not proliferate and that extremist ideologies do not attract young minds.

He expressed his hope “that this summit will set the foundation for a new takeoff in Gulf relations through strengthening the spirit of fraternity and solidarity”.

“The uncertainty characterizing the current global and economic context, in addition to the deep-rooted political and economic transformations the world is witnessing call on the GCC members to work towards economic and development integration,” he added.

He said that the initiative by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud calling for a Gulf union would remain a “lofty goal.” However, he added that believing in that goal required gradual steps towards economic integration “as well as social and cultural relations among our peoples that would eventually lead to achieving our common goals and interests.”

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain have returned their Ambassadors to Qatar after recalling them in March in protest at Doha’s perceived interference in their internal affairs with its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sheikh Tamim also welcomed nuclear negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear programme and said that it is a positive step and would help prevent an WMD arms race throughout the region. He condemned the recent Israeli aggression in Occupied Jerusalem and stressed the importance to resolve the Palestinian issue as well as the Syrian issue. Prolonging the conflicts in Palestine and Syria help to breed terrorism, the Emir of Qatar said.

The leaders of GCC members discussed relations with neighbouring Iran, economic integration as well as unrest in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Security issues were also prominent on the summit’s agenda. Most GCC states are members of the US-led international coalition fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The summit also reviewed steps to implement an earlier decision to form a joint Military Command, based in Riyadh, to coordinate regional military cooperation and achieve “defence integration”, according to the GCC Secretariat. It has also considered the establishment of a Naval Force to be stationed in Bahrain and a joint Police Force with its headquarters in the UAE.

Another key issue on the agenda was the plummeting price of oil, which makes up around 90% of GCC public revenues. The price of oil has fallen by about 40% since June, putting GCC states at risk of losing about $300 billion in income compared with last year’s oil revenue of $730 billion.

The summit reaffirmed the support for efforts aiming to enhance human rights and their commitment to protect human rights and dignity as per regional and international human rights laws and conventions.

The summit was shortened to just one day from two previously scheduled, according to organisers who gave no reason for the reduction.

The 36th summit is expected to be held next December in Oman.

Source: QNA, Gulf News

 

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