The fight against terrorism has dominated the concerns of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders and will be among the top priorities for their discussions at the 36th GCC summit to take place in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) views terrorism as contrary to the teachings of Islam, its values, moral and humanitarian principles and poses a threat to the Gulf communities and the world.
The growing extremist terrorist movements and the spread of sectarian thought have posed serious challenges in the region, thus promptingthe GCC countries to protect their security and stability. Also, the concentration of many groups and organizations designated by the United Nations as terrorist in volatile security areas and geographically close to the GCC countries constituted a grave security concern to keep away from the impact of the activities of these groups and organizations.
The GCC states have been witnessing various political and security movements at the highest levels to develop common strategies and cooperation with the international community to eradicate terrorism, especially as the three countries of the Council namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recently had been targeted by a number of terrorist attacks which killed scored of innocent victims.
The GCC countries have adopted local steps through religious, media and social awareness campaigns to educate communities about dangers of drifting behind the terrorist misleading ideas that seek to sow discord between the people of one homeland and undermine the unity of the community, as well as urging them not to respond to such ideas.
At the level of political moves, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain joined the international coalition led by America against the organization of the so-called Islamic State or (ISIL), one of the largest terrorist organizations in the region, through the provision of political and logistical assistance to the alliance.
The GCC countries also supported the Security Council resolution No. 2199 of 2015, which passed unanimously under Chapter VII on drying up the sources of terrorist financing and to tighten control over the terrorists and trapping financing of ISIL and the Nusra front.
The decision called for preventing the trade of goods and valuable material in Syrian and Iraq in areas controlled by terrorist organizations, strengthening the prohibition on the funding received by such organizations, while stressing the obligation of States to ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources go for the benefit of the terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz had stressed during the 4th summit between the Arab countries and the countries of Latin America in November on the pursuit of joint coordination in the face of the threat of terrorism.
“We look forward to coordinate our positions towards the issues on the international arena and the fight against terrorism, extremism and to spread the culture of peace and dialogue, King Salman said.
Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah had said during a meeting with Heads of Arab News Agencies in November in Kuwait that “Kuwait has warned other countries of this growing danger that has no homeland or religion where no single nation alone can unless with concerted efforts to track down and eradicate terrorism"”
The Premier stressed the need for continued cooperation between the security services in the different countries and the exchange of information to track down terrorists and drying the sources of financing and to pursue them everywhere and then eliminate them.
Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also stressed during his meeting with heads of Arab News Agencies in November that terrorism outbreak in the region made matters take a negative trend, stressing that this would not diminish the resolve of the GCC' commitment to achieve the aspiration of the GCC peoples for prosperity, The Interior Ministers of the GCC States who had late last month in Doha emphasized the interest of these countries for joint security coordination to fight terrorism and the threat posed to the Gulf societies.
Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said that the developments of the security situation in the region “is now threatening the security of our people and the best interests of our countries and pose a threat to our civilization, economic and cultural achievements.”
The Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said the GCC will continue the efforts of joint cooperation and coordination to confront the terrorist campaigns targeting security and stability.
He said that terrorism is a crime against the entire human society, which requires the cooperation of everyone and the faith of those behind such terrorist activities should not be used to offend a particular race or nation.
In turn, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani stressed the support of the GCC states for the regional and international efforts to combat terrorism, stressing that fighting terrorism will only be achieved through the elimination of the real causes, whether political, social, religious, sectarian or other reasons.
In 2002, the GCC states approved a security strategy to combat extremism associated with terrorism and released in the same year the Muscat Declaration on counter-terrorism .The Council also signed the GCC agreement to combat terrorism in 2004 and then formed a security committee to fight terrorism in 2006 which hold meetings on a regular basis.
The Mosque of Imam Al-Sadeq in Al-Sawaber area in Kuwait suffered a terrorist bombing last June as a suicide bomber killed 26 people and injured 227 others.Saudi Arabia witnessed during the past few months bombings of four mosques in Qatif, Dammam, Asir and Najran .Bahrain also witnessed last July a suicide terrorist attack in the town of Sitra.