MANAMA, 7th December, 2016 (WAM) — The six member states of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, GCC, on Wednesday rejected Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region and stressed that they were absolutely committed to fighting extremist ideologies that stoke terrorism and the distortion of Islam’s image.
“The GCC Supreme Council has called on Iran to immediately cease such practices that represent a violation of the sovereignty and independence of the GCC countries and to commit to the principles of good neighbourliness and to international laws, covenants and norms in order to preserve the security and stability of the region,” said the final communique issued by the leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, that make up the regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc, during their 37th GCC Summit in Bahrain.
The leaders reiterated their rejection of the Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands of Abu Musa and the Lesser and Greater Tunbs, and re-affirmed their support for the UAE’s sovereignty over the islands.
The GCC leaders reiterated their firm stance denouncing Iran’s occupation of the three UAE islands while supporting the UAE’s right to, and sovereignty over its islands, regional waters, airspace, continental shelf and the economic zone of the three islands.
The communique said that any decisions or activities carried out by Iran on the three UAE islands were void and null and did not change any of the historical or legal facts that affirmed the right of the UAE to the three islands.
The GCC Supreme Council stressed that Iran should change its policy in the region by not harbouring terrorist groups on its soil, including the Hezbollah militias, not supporting terrorist militias in the region and not inciting sectarian divisions.
The Supreme Council condemned the Iranian attempts to politicise Haj pilgrimage and to use the occasion to attack Saudi Arabia.
It also condemned Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the region, including Bahrain, through supporting terrorism, training terrorists, smuggling weapons, inciting sectarianism and issuing statements to undermine security, public order and stability, the communique added.
The GCC leaders also emphasised that Iran should abide by its nuclear with the G5+1 in July 2015, urging the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, to apply an effective mechanism to verify the agreement is put in place.
On Yemen, the GCC leaders further condemned the recent attempt by the Iran-backed Yemeni rebel Houthi militias and forces loyal to the now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, to target Makkah City, Islam’s holiest site, with a ballistic missile, as an act aimed at provoking the feelings of all Muslims and violating the security of the Muslim World.
All those who are behind this terrorist act are deemed parties to the aggression, accomplices in sowing sectarian strife and supporters of terrorism, the GCC leaders said.
The formation of a so-called national salvation government and political council by the Houthis and supporters of the now-ousted president were a violation of the internationally recognised constitutional legitimacy and represented obstacles to a political solution in Yemen, the communique said.
The GCC leaders’ communique reaffirmed full support to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty and independence and rejected any attempts to interfere in its domestic affairs.
On Syria, the GCC reiterated its unwavering support to maintaining Syria’s unity, stability and territorial integrity, while condemning non-stop airstrikes by the aircraft of the Syrian regime and allies on the Syrian city of Aleppo. The GCC leaders renewed support for all efforts being exerted by UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, and vowed to continue work to ease out the sufferings of the Syrian people The GCC condemned Bashar Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, forcible displacement of certain segments of the Syrian society, as well as the regime’s continued bombardment of populated areas in Aleppo and across Syria.
The GCC leaders stressed the significance of continuously propping up and beefing cooperation and integration among the GCC member states, leading up to the implementation of resolutions targeting full equal treatment among Gulf citizens in view of joint Gulf market fields.
The GCC leaders called on Iran to comply fully with principles of good neighbourliness, to respect the sovereignty of other countries, not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and to refrain from using or threatening to use force.
“It is imperative to share credit information as per a short- term plan and a comprehensive framework for a Gulf credit facilitation exchange mechanism,” the six leaders of GCC leaders said in a final communique issued at the end of their 37th summit in Manama, Bahrain.
The GCC leaders also agreed to build a GCC payment system, and entrust Gulf central banks to own, run and finance the plan by means of establishing an independent company.
They approved an anti- fraud bill as a binding law, according to the concluding statement. They further emphasised that the GCC member states have to commit to implementing a pan-Gulf railway project, sending it to the economic and development committee for setting out a necessary mechanism.
It is also necessary to further promote and develop cooperation and coordination among the GCC member states in the military field, the GCC Summit communique said, while appreciating progress in the domain of mutual defensive cooperation in the face of various challenges and threats.
On terrorism, they reiterated their unshakeable position of rejection and condemnation of all forms and manifestations of terrorism, but emphasised that more efforts should be exerted to dry out terror financing sources and to fight attempts to distort the image of Islam.
In this regard, they sharply denounced recent explosions and bombings in Saudi Arabia as heinous crimes that have nothing to do with the tolerant religion of Islam or values and principles of humanity and ethics.
The GCC leaders re-affirmed their support to all regional and international efforts to fight ISIL (Daesh) and all other terrorist networks and organisations in Syria, Iraq and other regions.
The communique reiterated the GCC’s support for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and rejected interference in the country’s domestic affairs.
On Palestine, the GCC leaders reiterated that total, just and everlasting peace could be reached in the Middle East region only when Israel withdraws from all Arab territories it occupied in 1967.
They reaffirmed support for an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant international legitimacy resolutions.
On the recent US Justice Against Sponsors of Terror Act (JASTA), the GCC leaders condemned the new law as a breach of the established principles of international law, mainly the principle of equality among the states.
The GCC leaders lashed out at the US act as a violation of the basics and principles of the relationship among the states and principle of sovereign immunity, calling upon Washington to rethink about this legislation due to its negative reflections on the relationship among the states.
However, they congratulated US president-elect Donald Trump, hoping that historic and strategic relations between the GCC member states and the US would be further promoted and cemented during Trump’s term of office.
The GCC leaders also vowed to work with him to ensure security, peace and stability in the region and the entire world.
They congratulated Antonio Guterres on having being elected new secretary-general of the United Nations, reiterating support to UN efforts to maintain world security and stability, according to the communique.
Moreover, the GCC leaders voiced extreme satisfaction with fervent efforts exerted to push forward strategic partnerships of the GCC countries with Jordan and Morocco, reflecting fraternal close relations. The leaders also blessed the recent resumption of free trade negotiations between the GCC and China.