Leaders and heads state of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states started their 37th summit in Manama on Tuesday evening with a call for joint work to confront the challenges and threats facing the region.In his speech at the Supreme Council of the GCC, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman called for jointly working to confront the crises and tackle the extremely complicated situation in the region.
“It is obvious to everyone to see the extremely complicated situation in our region as well as the crises that the region is facing. This situation requires all of us to work together to confront and tackle them with responsibility and determination. We have to intensify our efforts to consolidate security and stability of our region as well as to ensure development and prosperity for our countries and peoples,” the King said.
King Salman also drew attention to the sad situation in some parts of the region. “The painful situation being experienced by some Arab countries, characterized by terrorism, domestic strife and bloodshed, was an imperative result of the alliance of terrorism, sectarianism and flagrant interference, leading to their destabilization and breach of security.”
“We are all saddened to see the crisis in Syria, including killings, displacement and suffering of the Syrian people,” the King said while calling on the world community to intensify efforts to stop bloodshed and find a political solution that guarantees the war-torn country’s security and stability as well as preserving the unity and integrity of its territories.
King Salman also referred to the ongoing efforts to end the conflict in Yemen so as to achieve its security and stability under the leadership of the legitimate government and in accordance with the GCC initiative, outcome of the national dialogue and the UN Security Council resolution No. 2216. He thanked the endeavors being made by the UN special envoy to Yemen in this respect.
The King also highlighted the important achievements made by the GCC.
“Despite all these, we gear forward to a better future that realizes the aspirations of GCC citizens with more prosperity and dignified living, and enhancing the march of the GCC on the regional and international arenas through active foreign policies so as to achieve security and stability in the region and promote regional and international peace.”
King Salman expressed satisfaction over the achievements made by GCC, especially the creation of the Economic and Development Affairs Commission over the last one year during which he held the presidency of the Council.
He also wished every success for King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain during his chairmanship of the 37th session of the Supreme Council.
Earlier, the summit started with the speech of King Hamad, who chaired the session. Announcing the opening of the summit, he welcomed the GCC leaders.
King Hamad thanked King Salman for his great efforts during his presidency of the previous session, lauding the wisdom of King Salman in dealing with the challenges. He also thanked the GCC leaders for their efforts in enhancing fraternal bonds among the GCC states and peoples.
“In light of unprecedented political and economic events facing the whole world, we need more cooperation and integration among the GCC states. The GCC becomes an important platform seeking to enhance regional and international security and stability through active political initiatives to end regional conflicts and prevent foreign interference in its internal affairs,” he said.
The King of Bahrain highlighted economic projects, initiatives and agreements among the GCC states, and emphasized the capabilities of the GCC states in combating extremism and terrorism.
In his speech, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said the GCC summit comes amid rapid international changes and critical conditions that necessitate continuing consultations and joint coordination among the GCC countries. He said that the region is currently faced with grave challenges; and dwindling oil prices are a major concern on the economic front. The emir also highlighted the need for increased strategies to bolster GCC cooperation in efforts to amass further accomplishments that will reinforce solidarity among the Gulf nations.
Addressing the two-day session, GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani thanked King Salman for his chairmanship of the previous session of the council, lauding his great efforts and wisdom. He highlighted the importance of deepening integration in all fields of joint action, pointing out that the ministerial council has submitted to the summit recommendations aimed to enhance the GCC joint march in all fields. The opening session was followed by a closed door session. The leaders also attended a banquet dinner hosted by King Hamad.
Meanwhile, King Salman held separate talks with British Prime Minister Teresa May and Fahd Bin Mahmoud Al Saeed, deputy prime minister for Cabinet affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, on the sidelines of the summit. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and fields of cooperation.