The 39th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit has begun in the Al Diriyah Palace, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The summit was chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, and witnessed the participation of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who headed the UAE delegation.
King Salman delivered the summit's opening speech, which explained that Saudi Arabia's hosting of the GCC summit is in response to the desire of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, while expressing his best wishes to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and luck to the Sultanate of Oman in chairing the current sessions of the GCC.
King Salman said that the GCC was established to strengthen the security, stability, growth, prosperity and welfare of the citizens of GCC countries, as they are its main resource, as well as to achieve their aspirations and hopes. He also highlighted the efforts to preserve the GCC and strengthen its present and future roles, as Allah Almighty graced its countries with human and natural resources that promoted its civilised role in the region and around the world, which require all leaders to harness their energies to serve the GCC's peoples and preserve the security and stability of GCC countries and the region.
"The region is going through challenges and threats that you are all aware of, as extremist and terrorist forces are still threatening our common Gulf and Arab security. Iran is continuing to sponsor these forces and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. This requires us to preserve our countries' gains and work with our partners to preserve regional and international security and stability, as well as to insist on Iran's compliance regarding its nuclear program and ballistic missiles development program," he added.
King Salman affirmed that Saudi Arabia will continue to defend Arab and Islamic causes in international forums, and the Palestinian cause is its key priority. It also wants the Palestinian people to receive their legitimate rights, including their right to establish their independent country, with its capital in East Jerusalem, he added, while calling on the international community to carry out its responsibilities and take the necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people from Israeli aggression, which are provocative to the feelings of Arabs, Muslims and other peace-loving people.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques noted in his speech the concern displayed by the countries of the Arab Coalition, along with the request from the Legitimate Government in Yemen to rescue Yemen and its people from the group who started the coup and deliberately compromised Yemen's security and stability. Further, he noted that the Coalition has worked to return hope to the Yemeni people through relief programmes and humanitarian aid, as the Coalition also continues its support of efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis, based upon Security Council resolution No 2216 and the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, which were a result of the Comprehensive Yemeni National Dialogue.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also called for a political solution to end the Syrian crisis and contribute to the establishment of a transitional government which guarantees the unity of Syria and the exit of foreign forces and terrorist organisations. He also affirmed the Kingdom's concern for building solid and strategic relations with brotherly Iraq.
Following that, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait and Chairman of the previous edition of the Summit, delivered a speech in which he said that holding this edition of the council at its specified time, despite the circumstances which member countries now face, confirms the concern of the GCC and the continuation of the mechanisms for holding its sessions.
He added that the continuation of the conflict in Yemen represents a direct threat to all, and all countries hope for the success of the political deliberations currently ongoing in Sweden, which Kuwait responded to by presenting logistical support for it, in a bid to reach a political solution based upon the Gulf Initiative, its executive mechanisms, the outputs of the National Dialogue, and Security Council resolution No 2216. In this regard, he praised the friends in Sweden for hosting these deliberations and for their striving to provide the proper circumstances for its success.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs