End terrorism, says GCC as its summit concludes

By Rahul Dass, IANS
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ABU DHABI - The two-day summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded here Tuesday, with the six-nation bloc pledging to support international effort to tackle terrorism and seeking to make the Middle East region, including the Gulf area, free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.

In the Abu Dhabi Declaration, the Gulf leaders expressed the GCC’s denouncement of violence and terror-related extremism and the council’s support for any regional and international effort for combating terrorism.

The declaration, which was announced at the end of the Dec 6-7 summit, called upon the international community to back the GCC proposal to establish an international counter-terrorism centre.

The GCC demanded Iran to commit itself to the basic principles of promoting good neighbourly ties, non-interference in the internal affairs of others, settlement of disputes through peaceful means and to refrain from using or threatening to use the force in that respect.

The leaders reiterated their unwavering stand towards the United Arab Emirates’ sovereignty over its three islands — Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa — occupied by Iran.

In their statement, the leaders threw their weight behind the UAE’s right to regain sovereignty over its three islands.

They expressed their disappointment that the repeated contacts with Iran have not produced any positive outcome that would contribute to the resolution of the issue, and maintain the security and stability of the region.

The GCC also welcomed the international efforts to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue and called for the resolution of disputes through peaceful means and making the Middle East region free of nuclear weapons. The GCC leaders welcomed the international efforts, especially those made by the Group (5+1), to deal with the Iranian nuclear dossier.

The statement said: “The GCC monitored with grave concern the developments in the dossier and reiterated its firm position on the importance of compliance with principles of the international legitimacy, resolution of disputes through peaceful means and making the Middle East region, including the Gulf area, free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.”

The GCC also passed a resolution allowing GCC companies to open branches in member states.

Earlier, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the conclusion of the 31st summit.

In a speech at the closing session, Sheikh Khalifa expressed his best wishes of speedy recovery for King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia after his successful back surgery.

The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Monday condemned the terrorist acts in Saudi Arabia and voiced solidarity with Riyadh in the fight against all types of terrorism.

Sheikh Sabah said the GCC countries have rejected all kinds of terrorism and condemned all terrorist actions plotted and carried out in Saudi Arabia.

While Sheikh Sabah regretted the stalled peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis, he called on the parties concerned, specially the US and the international community, to force Israel to halt the settlement activities, and implement UN resolutions for peace.

Sheikh Sabah complimented Qatari Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani for winning the bid to host the World Cup 2022, saying it is a “sport achievement not only for Qatar but the entire Gulf countries and Arab countries”.

The UAE president Monday inaugurated the summit at the Emirates Palace here.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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