AL ZAYANI: 37TH SESSION OF GCC SUPREME COUNCIL IN MANAMA OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS REGIONAL CRISES

Doha, – Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani stressed that the 37th session of the GCC Supreme Council, to be held in Bahrain on Tuesday, is an opportunity for consultation between Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC countries, and to exchange opinion about the ongoing events and developments in the region.

In an interview with Qatari daily (Al-Sharq) issued Sunday, Al Zayani said that the rapid developments witnessed by the region require more coordination, consultation and integration among GCC countries, in order to protect its achievements and prosperity.

He noted that the GCC countries seek honestly to contribute to the exerted efforts to find peaceful political solutions to all regional crisis and to reduce its implications, adding that the consequences of the crisis will not be on the GCC states alone, but on the regional and international security and peace.

About the GCC economy, Al Zayani said that the economy in the GCC march gains a great keenness and attention from Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC countries and the achievements made in this important area prove that, pointing to the GCC common market which was established in 2008 and have made many achievements, including economic citizenship. He also noted to the customs Union which allowed for the GCC countries to raise the level of trade exchange from $20 billion in 2003 to $140 billion in 2015.

He also pointed out that the establishment of the Economic and Development Affairs Authority and the Judicial Economic Authority will undertake a prominent role in the consolidation of the economic cooperation and integration among GCC countries and will strengthening the GCC citizens’ gains from the common market.

About intervention in the internal affairs of the GCC, the Secretary General said that the GCC states are aware of the objectives of interfering in its internal affairs, and fully aware that this intervention seeks to destabilize their stability and undermine their cohesion and solidarity, adding that the security cooperation between the GCC countries at all levels is the way to meet this challenge and thwart its objectives.

Regarding terrorism, he warned that terrorism is an extraneous extraneous phenomenon to our peaceful societies and contrary to our tolerant Islamic faith.

Dr. Al Zayani underlined the GCC countries’ great efforts to fight terrorism militarily, economically and socially, adding that there are joint cooperation agreements and strategies between GCC states to combat terrorism and the security services harness intensive efforts to combat terrorist organizations.

Regarding Arab political differences, the GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani told Al Sharq newspaper that the GCC countries have always stressed that they are part of the joint Arab action and as stated in the statute, the coordination, cooperation and integration among them serve the lofty goals of the Arab nation and in line with the Charter of the Arab League which calls for closer convergence and stronger bonds to serve Arab and Islamic issues, therefore, the GCC states make every effort to support the joint Arab action in various fields, and contribute to settle Arab disputes and differences.

On the crisis in Yemen, Al Zayani said that the GCC states is fully aware that the stability of the Republic of Yemen and its security is part of the security and stability of the GCC, therefore it initiated, since the beginning of the political crisis in Yemen in 2011, to launch the GCC initiative that contributed to the breakthrough of the Yemeni crisis at that time. However, the coup of Houthi group and Ali Saleh against the Yemeni legitimacy complicate the crisis, he added.

The GCC Secretary-General explained that in response to the invitation of Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the ‘Operation Decisive Storm’ was launched and later the ‘Renewal of Hope Operation’ in order to restore the legitimate authority and to avoid the scourge of war, stressing the importance of reaching a peaceful political solution to end the crisis in the Yemen.

He also said that the GCC states are still support the international efforts in this regard, and the efforts of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in order to reach the desired solution and peace to begin the reconstruction process.

He added that everyone knows that the Gulf Cooperation Council attaches great importance to Yemen, as it is a neighbor and brother and an active member in many GCC organizations and institutions in various fields such as education, health, media, youth and others.

About the Syrian crisis, Al Zayani stressed that what is happening in Syria is a painful tragedy that left dead, wounded, refugees and displaced people, as well as destruction and devastation, adding that the GCC countries’ stance towards that was principled and unchanged, which is to stop the bloodshed and to support a peaceful political solution in accordance with the Geneva 1 agreement as the basis for any political solution that preserves Syria’s unity, sovereignty and independence, and achieves the aspirations of the Syrian people. GCC has multiple political and diplomatic roles in this regard, he said.

Source: Qatar News Agency