Politics, Middle East

S.Arabia hosts 39th Gulf Cooperation Council summit

One-day summit includes calls for justice for the Palestinians and non-interference from Iran

S.Arabia hosts 39th Gulf Cooperation Council summit RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 09: the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 09, 2018. ( Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout - Anadolu Agency )


The 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit on Sunday kicked off in Riyadh amid the notable absence of Qatar’s emir, Oman’s sultan, and the Emirati president.

Addressing the summit's opening session, Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said the Iranian regime is continuing its hostile policies of interfering with the internal affairs of other states.

He added that this interference "requires all of us to preserve the gains of our countries, work with our partners to maintain security and stability in the [Middle East] region and the world, and to insist on the need to achieve full and adequate guarantees towards Iran's nuclear program and its program for the development of ballistic missiles."

“The [GCC] has strengthened security, stability, and development ... and I am confident that we are all keen to preserve this entity and strengthen its role in the present and future," he added.

"The [Saudi] Kingdom continues to defend Arab and Islamic issues in international forums,” Salman said, adding that the Palestinian cause is at the forefront of the kingdom’s concerns as it seeks to obtain the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

He appealed to the international community to assume its responsibilities by taking necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli aggression.

The king also stressed that the countries of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen since 2015 "continue to support efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis," calling for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, one that "contributes to the establishment of a transitional government."

'End media campaigns'

For his part, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, Kuwait’s emir, called for a halt to competing media campaigns between the countries of the Gulf crisis, which he said laid the groundwork for the mid-2017 crisis between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, on one hand, with Qatar, warning that such campaigns affect values and principles and sow the seeds of strife and discord.

He also expressed his kingdom’s support for the Palestinian cause in line with resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative, as well as his country’s support for a political solution in Syria, expressing his hope that Iraq will be able to achieve reconstruction.

Al Sabah also reiterated his kingdom’s stance towards relations with Iran based on international principles, including non-interference in internal affairs, respect for the sovereignty of states, and adherence to the rules of good neighborliness.

Headed by King Salman and attended by Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, the one-day summit this year includes Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Saidi on behalf of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on behalf of UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Qatari Foreign Minister Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi on behalf of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The summit comes amid the continuing crisis that began in June 2017 when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain collectively severed ties with Qatar and imposed an embargo.

The Saudi-led axis accuses Doha of supporting terrorist groups in the region -- allegations Qatar strenuously denies.

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