Thursday, October 28, 2021 | Rabi' al-awwal 21, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

41st session of GCC Supreme Council issues final communique
GCC
GCC

Al-Ula: The 41st Session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)  - Sultan Qaboos and Sheikh Sabah Summit - issued a final communique as follows:


At a kind invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Supreme Council of the GCC held in Al-Ula today its 41th session, under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of each of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister of the UAE and Governor of Dubai; Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince; His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman; Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar; Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait; and the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States Dr. Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf.


The Supreme Council expressed utmost grief and sorrow on the death of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur, may Allah bestow His abundant mercy and forgiveness upon him, who passed away, after a life full of great deeds, great achievements, and a journey full of sincere giving, and tireless work for the good of the Sultanate of Oman, its progress and prosperity, and the prosperity of its people. The Council offered sincere condolences and sympathy to the Sultanate of Oman, its leadership, government and people, and the Arab and Islamic nations, for this great loss.


The Council also expressed its sincere appreciation for the late deceased’s role in promoting the march of the GCC, with the leaders of the GCC countries, and for his great efforts to serve Arab and Islamic causes, and the peace of the region and the world.


The Supreme Council expressed utmost grief and sorrow on the death of the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may Allah bestow His abundant mercy and forgiveness upon him, who passed away, after a life full of great deeds, great achievements, and a journey full of sincere giving, and tireless work for the good of the State of Kuwait, its progress and prosperity, and the prosperity of its people. The Council offered sincere condolences and sympathy to the State of Kuwait, its leadership, government and people, and the Arab and Islamic nations, for this great loss. The Council also expressed its sincere appreciation for the late deceased’s role in promoting the march of the GCC, with the leaders of the GCC countries, and for his great efforts to serve Arab and Islamic causes, and the peace of the region and the world.


The Supreme Council expressed its sincere condolences and sympathy to the Kingdom of Bahrain on the death of the late Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, recalling the deceased’s achievements that he presented to promote joint Gulf action.


The Supreme Council welcomed Sultan Haitham bin Tariq the Sultan of Oman, and expressed its complete confidence that Sultan Haitham, with his usual wisdom, will enhance the effective participation of the Sultanate of Oman in supporting the march of the Cooperation Council and achieving its noble goals, with his the leaders of the GCC countries, and preserving Security of the Cooperation Council.


The Supreme Council welcomed Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and expressed its complete confidence that Sheikh Nawaf, with his usual wisdom, will enhance the effective participation of the State of Kuwait in supporting the march of the Cooperation Council and achieving its noble goals, with his the leaders of the GCC countries, and preserving Security of the Cooperation Council.


The Supreme Council congratulated His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on assuming the presidency of the 41st meeting of the Supreme Council, expressing appreciation for HRH the Crown Prince for the keenness and interest shown in his opening speech for activation of the GCC march in all fields.


The Supreme Council expressed its deep appreciation and gratitude for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and his esteemed government for the great sincere efforts made during the period of the presidency of the United Arab Emirates of the 40th session of the Supreme Council, which resulted in implementing important steps and achievements. The Council congratulated King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain on taking over the presidency of 41st session, wishing Bahrain all success in consolidating the GCC march in all fields.


The Supreme Council affirmed its keenness on the strength, cohesion, and solidity of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the unity of ranks among its members, due to the special relations and common features between them based on the Islamic belief, the Arab culture, the common fate and the unity of purpose that combine its peoples as well as its desire to achieve more coordination, integration and interdependence among them in all fields through the blessed march of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in a way that fulfills the aspirations of GCC citizens. The Supreme Council affirms that its countries stand together in the face of any threat to any of the GCC.


The Supreme Council paid tribute to the good and sincere efforts being exerted by the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, former Emir of the State of Kuwait, aiming to bridge the gap among the GCC member states and extended thanks and appreciation for Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, as well as the efforts of the friendly United States of America in this regard.


The Supreme Council welcomed the signing of Al-Ula Declaration which aims at enhancing the unity of ranks and cohesion among the GCC states, the return of the GCC joint work to its normalcy and preservation of the security and stability of the region.


The Supreme Council congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the success of the G20 for the year 2020 held virtually under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.


The Supreme Council lauded the efforts being exerted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its presidency of the G20, consolidating its leading and pivotal role in preparing and administering the meetings held at all levels despite the exceptional health circumstances forced by the spread of coronavirus pandemic.


However, important decisions in the health, economic, political and social domains were taken, constituting positive impact on supporting and enhancing international cooperation in facing such crises and working for a better future for all.


The Supreme Council lauded upgrading the level of Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council to Crown Prince’s level between the two countries and welcomed the positive results of the coordination council held on 24 December 2020 to develop joint bilateral cooperation in a way that achieves the aspirations of the GCC states and peoples.


The Supreme Council welcomed Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain assuming office as Prime Minister of the Cabinet of the Kingdom, wishing him success.


The Supreme Council paid tribute to the United Arab Emirates for successfully launching Al-Amal (hope) probe which is scheduled to land on Mars next February and operate Baraka station as part of a peaceful program for nuclear energy as such projects have proved to be part of the nation’s support for science and technology and alternative energy and exploring the space to enhance development.


The Supreme Council confirmed its full support for the success of the UAE hosting of Dubai EXPO 2020 as the success of such international events is considered a success attributed to all the GCC states and peoples.


The Supreme Council considered the organizing of such great events is set to bolster dialogue among cultures and allow inter-communication among them and enhance the status of the region as an international hub for businesses.


The Supreme Council was informed of the plan of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, to hold Shura council elections in October 2021, lauding the step and underscoring the importance of coordination and consultation among the legislative chambers of the GCC states.


The Supreme Council congratulated the State of Qatar on the election of Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, Speaker of the Qatari Shura Council, as Speaker of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption for the 2019-2021 term.


The Supreme Council lauded the ongoing preparations being made by the State of Qatar to host World Cup 2022, reiterating its support for Qatar on whatever leads to the success of the Mondial.


The Supreme Council welcomed Qatar’s playing host of Horticulture Expo titled "Green Desert, Better Environment” scheduled to be held in Doha from 02 October 2023 to 28 March 2024, aiming to encourage innovative solutions, reduction of desertification, support for agriculture, and environmental enlightenment and sustainability in desert regions.


The Supreme Council congratulated U.S. President-elect Joseph Biden on winning U.S. presidential elections, gearing forward to further enhance the historical and strategic relations with the United States of America and work together for achieving peace and stability of the region and the world, wishing the friendly people of the America steady progress and prosperity under his leadership.


Efforts of the GCC states in light of COVD-19 pandemic:


The Supreme Council extended thanks and appreciation for all personnel at the forefront of the health and medical teams, security men, civil defense and female and male volunteers for the sacrifices and contributions they are extending to deal with coronavirus pandemic, paying tribute to the souls of the victims who have sacrificed for the safety of others.


The Supreme Council reviewed the latest developments and health and preventive measures to contain coronavirus pandemic in the GCC states, lauding the great efforts being exerted by the component agencies in the GCC states, citing the high-level preparedness and supervision and future forecast to curb the negative impacts of the pandemic at all levels, emanating from the keenness of the GCC leaders to observe human rights and preserve the health and safety of citizens inside and outside as well as expatriates on their territories.


The Supreme Council appreciated the commitment of GCC citizens and residents and their response to instructions and precautionary measures to reduce the effects of the pandemic. The Supreme Council stressed the importance of the collective response and cooperation with international and regional organizations as well as brotherly and friendly countries to confront these challenges and work to provide vaccines to prevent this virus, and to treat the infected.


The Supreme Council praised the precautionary measures being taken by the GCC countries and the economic, social and health measures that were discussed by the relevant ministerial committees, to enhance joint action and collective thinking to deal with the repercussions of the crisis and its economic and social impacts. The Supreme Council appreciated what the GCC General Secretariat has done in this regard and affirming the continuation of deepening cooperation and integration in the economic and developmental field among the GCC states.


The Supreme Council affirmed the need to continue supporting medical centers and facilities in the GCC countries to face future health threats to preserve the health of citizens and residents of the GCC countries.


The Supreme Council expressed its appreciation to GCC Member States for their solidarity at the regional level and support for international efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic, through their generous support to humanitarian and medical organizations and agencies, as well as to the affected countries and peoples, stressing the importance of continuing global collective cooperation and coordination to face the repercussions of this pandemic.


The Supreme Council stressed the importance of mobilizing and intensifying the collective efforts of the GCC countries in all fields, and the continuity of the pace of work and the virtual holding of meetings, in case they were not held in attendance concerning all the committees working within the framework of the GCC at its various levels.


The Supreme Council stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation with international and regional organizations and exchanging experiences in combating the Coronavirus pandemic and addressing its economic and social impacts.


The Supreme Council directed the General Secretariat to complete monitoring and documenting the efforts of the GCC countries to confront the coronavirus pandemic in several fields, develop an electronic information base to document these efforts and prepare comprehensive reports to be circulated and published.


The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' Vision:


The Supreme Council expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in implementing the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to promote joint Gulf action, which was approved by the Supreme Council at its 36 session, in December 2015.


The Supreme Council mandated the bodies, councils, ministerial and technical committees, the General Secretariat and all council organs, to redouble their efforts to complete the remaining steps, according to their timetables, including the completion of the components of the economic unity within the framework of the GCC, the joint defense and security systems, and the elaboration of a unified and effective foreign policy for the GCC that preserves interests and earnings, avoids regional and international conflicts, and meets the aspirations of its citizens.


The Council mandated the General Secretariat to submit a comprehensive report to the next session of the GCC Supreme Council, containing what has been accomplished of the vision's items and submitting proposals to overcome any difficulties facing the process of implementation.


GCC Joint Action:


The Supreme Council was briefed on what the consultations had reached regarding the implementation of the Supreme Council’s decision in its 32nd session on the proposal of the late Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to move from the stage of cooperation to the union stage, and instruct the Supreme Council to continue efforts to move from the stage of cooperation to the stage of the union, and assign to the Ministerial Council and the head of the specialized body to complete taking the necessary measures for that, and submit what is reached to the Supreme Council, at its next session.


The Supreme Council reviewed the developments of the joint Gulf action, stressed the importance of preserving the council’s gains and the achievements of its integrative career, and directed the competent authorities in the member states, the General Secretariat, and the ministerial and technical committees to redouble efforts to achieve the lofty goals stipulated in the Statute of the GCC.


The Supreme Council praised the efforts of the GCC countries to enhance integrity and efficiency mechanisms, governance, transparency and accountability in government agencies and fight corruption, and directed the strengthening of joint cooperation in this field within the framework of the GCC's agencies and specialized organizations.


The Supreme Council affirmed the necessity of implementing all its decisions and agreements that were concluded within the framework of the GCC, according to their specific timetables and adhering to their contents, in light of their importance in protecting the security of member states, safeguarding their stability, securing their safety and the interests of their citizens, in addition to creating a stable economic and social environment that enhances the well-being of citizens of the GCC countries.


The Supreme Council approved the general framework of the GCC public health plan for emergency preparedness and response, and assigned the concerned authorities in the GCC countries to implement this plan in cooperation and coordination with the ministries of health in the countries as a reference.


The Supreme Council approved the early health warning regulation guide, to benefit from preparing early warning regulations in the GCC countries, in line with the local regulations of each country.


The Supreme Council approved the establishment of the Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control, under the umbrella of the Health Council of the GCC.


The Supreme Council approved the extension of the validity period of the unified guiding regulation for empowering persons with disabilities, and unified guiding regulation for volunteer work as a guideline, for a period of two years.


The Supreme Council approved the GCC strategy in the field of civil service and human resource development 2021-2025.


The Supreme Council approved a law (regulation) for preventive measures against infectious and epidemic animal diseases and combating them in the GCC countries, as a guideline, for a period of two years.


The Supreme Council approved the unified guiding regulation for the protection, development and exploitation of living aquatic resources, as a guideline, for a period of two years.


The Supreme Council approved the amended Patent Law (Regulation) for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.


The Supreme Council expressed its satisfaction with the results of the 13th and 14th meetings of the GCC Speakers of the Shura Councils, Council of Representatives, the Federal National Council, and the National Assembly, which were held in July and November 2020, appreciating the efforts made by the councils of the member states in promoting joint Gulf action.


Economic integration:


The Supreme Council stressed the importance of focusing on projects with an integrated strategic dimension in the economic and developmental field, most notably the completion of the requirements of the Customs Union, the completion of the realization of the common Gulf market and the railway project. The Supreme Council stressed the need to work on developing an integrated system to achieve food, water and energy security and adopting the goals and mechanisms of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the field of information technology, communication technology and artificial intelligence.The Supreme Council affirmed the importance of continuing to support and encourage small and medium enterprises, believing in their vital role and contributions to the economies of the GCC countries.


The Supreme Council reviewed a report on the follow-up to the implementation of the work program of the Economic and Development Affairs Authority, and directed to set a road map for completing studies and projects related to achieving economic unity by the year 2025.


The Supreme Council approved the agreement on the system of linking payments systems between the GCC countries, considering it the legal umbrella for the system of payments and settlement between the countries of the Council and authorizing the members of the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee to sign it.


The Supreme Council blessed the Gulf Payments Company carrying out its work and the start of the first phase of operating the Gulf Payments System (Afaq) between the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Saudi Central Bank, and the accession of the rest of the Gulf central banks to the system, respectively, according to the agreed schedule and stages of work.


The Supreme Council approved the amended Unified Consumer Protection Law (Regulation) for the GCC.


Joint military and security action:


The Supreme Council approved the amendment of Article Six of the Joint Defense Agreement, by changing the name of the "Joint Peninsula Shield Forces Command" to the "GCC Unified Military Command."The Supreme Council endorsed the decisions of the Joint Defense Council in its seventeenth session regarding areas of military integration between the countries of the Cooperation Council, and affirmed support for joint military integration efforts to achieve collective security for the GCC countries, and expressed its satisfaction with the steps taken to activate the work of the Unified Military Command.


The Supreme Council endorsed the decisions of the Interior Ministers at their 37th meeting, stressing the importance of strengthening joint Gulf security action to ensure the security and stability of the GCC countries. The Supreme Council offered its thanks and appreciation for the employees of the security services addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts made to limit its spread.


The Supreme Council praised the success of the tactical exercise (Arab Gulf Security 2) hosted by the United Arab Emirates in February 2020, stressing the importance of the exercise in strengthening security cooperation between the states of the Council and the professional compatibility between the concerned agencies in order to consolidate the foundations of security and deter anyone who tries to undermine the security of and the stability of the region. The Supreme Council blessed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's request to host the joint tactical exercise for the security services (Arab Gulf Security 3), on the assumptions of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Supreme Council confirmed the GCC firm positions and decisions towards terrorism and extremism regardless of their motives and manifestations and confirmed work to stop its finance.


The Supreme Council confirmed that tolerance and co-existence among nations and peoples are among the most important principles on which the GCC societies were built and their relations with other peoples based.


The Supreme Council expressed strong denunciation of publishing any defaming drawings against our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as such that is considered harmful to the feelings of Muslim people, a flagrant cause for hatred and a form of racial segregation.


The Supreme Council underscored the importance of enhancing the culture of tolerance, co-existence and dialogue and called on the world’s leaders, thinkers and men of opinion to take the great responsibility which falls on the shoulders of whoever seeks peace and co-existence to reject the speech of hatred and defaming religions or their representatives, citing the importance of respecting the feelings of Muslims instead of falling under the influence of Islamophobia adopted by extremist groups.


The Supreme Council lauded the efforts of the international alliance, led by the United States of America, chasing the leaders of the so-called Daesh organization which managed to defame Islam and Muslims, confirming the GCC continuing strenuous efforts exerted with its partners in combating terror and rooting out its sources.


The Supreme Council welcomed the U.S. decision classifying the Iran-backed Saraya Al-Ashtar and Saraya Al-Mukhtar as terrorist organizations, reflecting its commitment to confront terrorism, its supporters and backers.


The Supreme Council lauded the decisions of the countries who classified Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, an important step that reflects the keenness of the world community to confront all kinds of terrorism and its organizations at the regional and international levels.


The Supreme Council urged other friendly countries to follow suit to confront terror and root out its sources of finance.


Regional and international issues:


The Supreme Council reviewed regional and international issues developments, confirming the GCC states keenness on preserving stability and security of the region, providing support for the prosperity of its peoples, enhancing the relations of the GCC with close and friendly countries and working with regional and international organizations to preserve world security and peace, enhance the GCC role in achieving peace and sustainable development and serve the noble aspirations of the Arab and Islamic nations.


The Supreme Council confirmed the GCC positions rejecting foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries and underscored the importance of desisting from provocative acts through stoking struggles and strife.


The Supreme Council confirmed the importance of respecting the principles of sovereignty and non-interference and respect of other countries privacies according to the international charters, norms and laws which organize relations among countries.


The Supreme Council states that the security of the GCC countries is an integral source of the Arab national security according to the Arab league charter.


The Supreme Council also confirmed the GCC positions rejecting any threat targeting a member country as the GCC security is integral, based on the principle of joint defense and concept of collective security based on the GCC statute and joint defense agreement.


Palestinian Cause:


The Supreme Council confirms the GCC firm position on the Palestinian cause in its capacity as the Arab and Muslims first priority.


It expressed support for the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people on all the occupied Palestinian territories since June 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with eastern Al-Quds as its capital and guarantee the rights of refugees according to the Arab peace initiative.


The Supreme Council confirmed that the Palestinian Cause is central to the GCC, underscoring the importance of activating the efforts of the international community to solve the struggle in a way that meets all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people accordingly.


The Supreme Council denounced the Israeli occupying authority demolition of tens of homes eastern Al-Quds, calling on the world community to interfere to stop Israel from targeting the Palestinian existence and practicing forcing displacement of citizens from the city of Al-Quds, and halting attempts to change the legal nature and demography of the sacred city, a flagrant violation of the international and humanitarian laws and relevant agreements


The Supreme Council expressed rejection of any attempt to annex settlements in the west bank to Israel, a flagrant violation of the UN charter, the international law, and the UN resolutions, including the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 for 2016 and the international justice tribunal consultative opinion in 2004 and Geneva 4th agreement in 1949.


The Supreme Council confirmed that Israel’s policy relating to ruining homes, and forcing people to leave their houses manages to undermine the possibility of the two-state solution and bringing permanent peace.


The Supreme Council underscored the importance of UNRWA, lauding the generous assistance being provided by the GCC countries to the agency’s activities and demanded the world community to continue providing support for it to proceed with its mission until the final return of Palestinian refugees.


Iranian occupation of the three islands of the United Arab Emirates:


The Supreme Council affirmed its consistent positions and previous decisions regarding the condemnation of the continued occupation by Iran of the three islands (Tunb Al-Kubra, Tunb Al-Sogra and Abu Musa) of the United Arab Emirates, reaffirming the following:


A- Supporting the right of sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, the Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and the territorial waters, its skies, the continental shelf, and the exclusive economic zone of the three islands as an integral part of the territory of the United Arab Emirates.


B - Considering that any decisions, practices, or actions that Iran undertakes on the three islands are null and void and do not change any of the historical and legal facts on the right of the United Arab Emirates' sovereignty over its three islands.


C- Calling Iran to respond to the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or resorting to the International Court of Justice.


Iran:


The Supreme Council affirmed its consistent positions and decisions regarding relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressing the need for Iran to adhere to the basic principles based on the Charter of the United Nations and the charters of international law, principles of good-neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in internal affairs, and resolving disputes by peaceful means, not to use force or threaten to resort to force, and reject sectarianism.


The Supreme Council affirmed the importance of building confidence between the GCC and Iran, in accordance with the principles previously approved by the Council and the Iranian side was informed of, adherence to international charters and norms for relations between countries, taking into account the security of the region and the aspirations of its people and stopping escalation in the region.


The Supreme Council expressed its absolute rejection of the continuation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the GCC member states and the region, and its condemnation of all terrorist acts being carried out by Iran and its supporting of sectarian conflicts, in clear violation of international norms and values and threatening regional and international security. The Supreme Council stressed the need to stop and refrain from supporting groups that are fueling such conflicts as well as stopping the support, financing and arming of sectarian militias and terrorist organizations, including providing them with ballistic missiles and drones to target civilians and threatening international shipping lines and the global economy.


The Supreme Council affirmed that any negotiation process with Iran should include addressing Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region, the Iranian missile program, including ballistic and cruise missiles and drones, and the Iranian nuclear program, stressing the need to involve the GCC countries in such a process.


The Supreme Council also affirmed the necessity of preventing nuclear proliferation, completing efforts aimed at creating a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, the need for the GCC member states to participate in future international negotiations concerning the Iranian nuclear program, and to subject Iran to compliance with the standards and protocols of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including commitment to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, which includes stating issues related to the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program, in addition to addressing Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region and the world and its sponsorship of terrorism to ensure that it does not carry out any kind of provocations in the future, which will reintegrate it into the international community and achieve its interest and well-being of the Iranian people.


The Supreme Council welcomed the statement issued by the meeting of the Quartet Arab Ministerial Committee concerned with following up the developments of the crisis with Iran, which included a condemnation of the Iranian regime' serious violations of international laws, charters and norms with its practices that threaten the security of the region and the stability of Arab countries, interference in their internal affairs and its support of the armed militias that spread chaos, division and devastation in many Arab countries, in addition to the Quartet Arab Ministerial Committee' stress on urging the international community to shoulder its responsibilities regarding the threat being posed by Iran's hostile practices and its sponsorship of terrorist activities in the region and the world as a threat to international peace and security.


The Supreme Council expressed its condemnation of Iran's continued failure to fulfill its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ceasing the implementation of its commitments, and its delay in providing the required information about its nuclear program. The Supreme Council stressed the need for Iran to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially with regard to its violations of uranium ratios and to respect for the immunities and privileges of IAEA's inspectors.


The Supreme Council affirmed the need that the international efforts would continue to compel the Iranian regime to stop its destabilizing policy in the region, abide by the principles of international law and stop its interference in the internal affairs of other countries as well as its support for terrorism and sectarianism.


The Supreme Council welcomed the decision of the United States of America to classify the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, and stressed the importance of this step in countering the dangerous role that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard plays as an element of instability, a factor of tension and a tool to spread violence and terrorism in the Middle East and the world at large. The Supreme Council stressed the importance of continuing the ban on the export of conventional weapons to Iran, and the continuation of relevant sanctions.


The Supreme Council affirmed its support for all measures taken by the GCC countries to preserve their security and stability in the face of Iranian interference in their internal affairs and its support for extremism and terrorism.


The Supreme Council condemned actions targeting the security and safety of navigation, marine installations, energy supplies, oil pipelines, and oil installations in the Arabian Gulf and waterways, as acts that threaten the security of the GCC states and the region, international freedom of navigation, and undermine regional and international peace and security. This includes the sabotage attack on the oil supply facilities to the international markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in September 2019, and the international investigation showed Iran's involvement in it. The Supreme Council affirms that the GCC states support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's procedures to ensure its security and stability.


Yemen:


The Supreme Council affirmed the firm stances and decisions of the Cooperation Council regarding supporting legitimacy in Yemen, represented by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and his government, to end the Yemeni crisis and reach a political solution, in accordance with the references represented by the Gulf initiative and its implementation mechanism, the outcomes of the comprehensive national dialogue conference, and Security Council Resolution 2216 in a way that preserves brotherly Yemen, its unity and integrity, respect for its sovereignty and independence, and rejects any interference in its internal affairs. The Supreme Council reiterated its support for the United Nations and thanked its envoy, Martin Griffiths, for the efforts he exerts to reach a political solution in accordance with those references.


The Supreme Council praised the sincere efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that resulted in the signing of a mechanism to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council on July 29, 2020. The Supreme Council welcomed the implementation of Riyadh Agreement by the Yemeni parties represented by the legitimate government and the Southern Transitional Council and the formation a government of political competencies that includes all components of the Yemeni spectrum, in addition to appointing a governor for Aden governorate and a director for its security. The Supreme Council appreciated the Yemeni parties’ keenness on Yemen’s interest and achieve the aspirations of its brotherly people to restore security and stability. The Supreme Council considered the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement as an important step towards reaching a political solution based on the references to end the Yemeni crisis.


The Supreme Council welcomed the arrival of the Yemeni government to the temporary capital, Aden, on December 30, 2020, to carry out its work in the liberated areas, to achieve the aspirations of the brotherly Yemeni people and restore security and stability throughout Yemen. The Supreme Council condemned the terrorist attack that targeted the government upon its arrival at Aden airport, which resulted in many innocent civilian casualties. The Supreme Council called for creating an atmosphere for the Yemeni government to practice all its legitimate activities and to strengthen its ability to restore the authority of the Yemeni state and its institutions in all parts of Yemen.


The Supreme Council affirmed its support for the Yemeni government's initiative to resume the introduction of oil derivatives through the port of Hodeidah, the entry of all oil tankers that meet the conditions to the port, and the deposit of all their revenues in a new special account in the Central Bank, according to a specific mechanism in which the United Nations guarantees the preservation of these revenues and their use in handing over salaries to employees across Yemen. The Supreme Council condemned the Iranian-backed Houthi militia’s seizure of revenues from oil derivatives import fees from the special account in the Central Bank in Hodeidah city, which is designated to pay the salaries of civil servants.


The Supreme Council praised the achievements made by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center through its field branches in the Yemeni governorates, the development projects implemented by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen in the Yemeni governorates, and the humanitarian support provided by GCC Relief and Humanitarian Aid Coordination Office. All GCC states have provided humanitarian and development aid to Yemen, whose value has exceeded $ 13 billion since 2015, noting the GCC states’ support for the United Nations humanitarian response plan in Yemen for the year 2020, and appreciating the humanitarian and relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people and achieve security and stability in Yemen.


The Supreme Council also praised the efforts of the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (Masam) to clear Yemeni lands of mines, which since its inception, has managed to clear more than 200,000 mines, unexploded ammunition and explosive devices that Houthi militias randomly planted in the Yemeni governorates.


The Supreme Council commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's hosting, in June 2020, the Donors Conference for Yemen, in which donor countries pledged $ 1.35 billion to help humanitarian agencies operating in Yemen to continue providing basic and emergency services, including funding for COVID-19 containment programs, and the Kingdom's of Saudi Arabia's announcement providing $ 500 million to support the response plan. The Supreme Council called on donors to fulfill current pledges and consider making more contributions.


The Supreme Council welcomed the statement issued by the ministerial group that included the State of Kuwait, the United States of America, China, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden and the European Union, through which it announced its commitment to additional funding for the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan amounting to more than $ 350 million in order to prevent famine.


The Supreme Council condemned the Iranian-backed Houthi militia blocking the arrival of the United Nations technical team to conduct inspection and maintenance of the floating oil tank (SAFER) in the Red Sea off the coast of Hodeidah, which contains more than a million barrels of crude oil, that could cause an environmental and economic disaster and a serious humanitarian impact that goes beyond Yemen in the event that the international community, represented by the Security Council, does not mount more pressure on the Iranian-backed Houthi militias to comply with the calls of the international community to allow the specialized technical team of the United Nations to access the floating oil tank (SAFER) as soon as possible to prevent an ecological disaster in the Red Sea.


The Supreme Council affirmed that the Iranian-backed Houthi militias continue to carry out hostilities and terrorist operations by launching ballistic missiles and explosive drones to target civilians and civilian objects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, violating international and humanitarian law by using the civilian population in Yemeni civilian areas as human shields, and launching booby-trapped and remotely piloted boats, a serious threat to regional and international security. The Supreme stressed the legitimate right of the Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen to take and implement the necessary measures to deal with these hostile and terrorist acts, and the need to prevent the smuggling of weapons to these militias, which poses a threat to the freedom of maritime navigation and global trade in Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea. The Supreme Council praised the efficiency of the defense forces of the Saudi Royal Air Force in intercepting and confronting those missiles and aircraft, which amounted to more than 344 ballistic missiles and 482 drones.


The Supreme Council condemned the continued smuggling of Iranian weapons to the Houthi militia, and in this regard noted the efforts of the United States of America in seizing smuggled Iranian weapons on their way to the Iran-backed Houthi militias during February 2020, in addition to what was seized from Iranian smuggled weapons in November 2019, which match with remnants of the missiles that were used in the brutal criminal attack on the oil installations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the results of the investigation of those terrorist attacks.


Iraq:


The Supreme Council affirmed its firm stances and decisions regarding Iraq, stressing the importance of preserving the integrity, unity of its territory, its full sovereignty, its Arab identity, its social coherence and national unity, and support for confronting terrorist groups and armed militias and strengthening state sovereignty and law enforcement.


The Supreme Council welcomed the formation of the Iraqi government headed by Mustafa Al-Kazemi, wishing the Iraqi government success to achieve the aspirations of the brotherly Iraqi people in their sovereignty, security and stability.


The Supreme Council praised the efforts made by member states to enhance cooperation with brotherly Iraq in all fields, noting the steps taken to implement the Memorandum of Understanding and the joint action plan for strategic dialogue and the development of relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Republic of Iraq.


The Supreme Council renewed its support for Security Council Resolution No. 2107 (2013), which was adopted unanimously, to refer the file of prisoners, missing persons, Kuwaiti property and the national archive to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), to follow up on this file, and expressed its hope for continued cooperation with the Iraqi government to ensure progress in the aforementioned issues. The Council calls on the Iraqi government and the United Nations to make every effort to reach a solution to this humanitarian issue and other related issues, especially the completion of the demarcation of the maritime borders after border sign 162.


Syria:


The Supreme Council affirmed its firm stances and decisions regarding the Syrian crisis, the political solution based on the principles of (Geneva 1) and Security Council Resolution No. 2254, which provides for the formation of a transitional government body to manage the affairs of the country, draft a new constitution for Syria, and prepare for elections to chart a future of the new Syria, fulfills the aspirations of the brotherly Syrian people.


The Supreme Council expressed its hope that the meetings of the Constitutional Committee in Syria would result in a speedy consensus, and that this would support the efforts being exerted to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and achieve the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. renewing its support for the efforts of the United Nations to achieve this.


The Supreme Council affirmed its support for the efforts of the United Nations to return the Syrian refugees and displaced to their cities and villages under international supervision in accordance with international standards, and to provide them with support in countries of asylum and reject any attempts to bring about demographic changes in Syria.


The Supreme Council affirmed its stances by preserving the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, respecting its independence and sovereignty over its territory, and rejecting regional interferences in its internal affairs, and everything that affects Arab national security and threatens international peace and security.


The Supreme Council reiterated its condemnation of the Iranian existence in the Syrian territories and Iran's interference in the Syrian affairs, demanding to expel all Iranian forces, Hezbollah militias, and all sectarian militias that Iran recruited to work in Syria.


Lebanon:


The Supreme Council followed the latest developments in Lebanon, affirming the GCC firm stances and decisions regarding Lebanon as well as its keenness for Lebanon's security, stability, and territorial integrity. The Supreme Council expressed its hope that the Lebanese will respond to the call of the supreme interest and wise dealing with the challenges facing the Lebanese state in order to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Lebanese people.


Egypt:


The Supreme Council affirmed support for the security and stability of the Arab Republic of Egypt, appreciating its efforts in strengthening Arab national security and peace in the region, combating extremism and terrorism, promoting development, prosperity, and advancement for the brotherly Egyptian people, and rejecting interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries. The Council expressed its support for the existing efforts to solve the Renaissance Dam's issue and in a way that meets the water and economic interests of the countries concerned, appreciating the international efforts made in this regard.


Jordan:


The Supreme Council emphasized support for security, stability and development in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and directed to intensify efforts to implement joint action plans that were agreed upon within the framework of the strategic partnership between the GCC and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.


Libya:


The Supreme Council affirmed its firm stances and decisions regarding the Libyan crisis, and support for the efforts of the United Nations to reach a political solution. The Supreme Council reiterated the GCC's keenness to preserve the interests of the brotherly Libyan people, and to the security, stability and unity of the Libyan territories, as well as to support the efforts being made to confront the so-called (Daesh) terrorist organization.


The Supreme Council welcomed the announcement by the Presidency Council and the House of Representatives in Libya of a ceasefire, expressing its hope for the success of the political dialogue among the Libyan parties, taking into account the Libyan national interest above all considerations, reaching a permanent solution that guarantees security and stability for the brotherly Libyan people as well as their sovereignty over their territories and wealth and prevents external interference that endangers Arab regional security.


Sudan:


The Supreme Council affirmed its firm stances towards the brotherly Republic of Sudan, and its continuous support for everything that contributes to enhancing its security and stability and achieving the aspirations of the brotherly Sudanese people and their legitimate hopes for stability, development and prosperity, based on the historical and fraternal relations that link the GCC countries with the brotherly Republic of Sudan.


The Supreme Council congratulated the leadership and people of Sudan on the occasion of reaching the Juba Peace Agreement, stressing the keenness of the GCC states to continue to support efforts aimed at preserving Sudan's sovereignty, national unity, territorial integrity and protection from external interference, its Arab and Islamic standing, and its confidence in the ability of the brothers in Sudan to move forward on the path of peace, overcome the consequences of the past, and create a bright future.


The Supreme Council welcomed the removal of Sudan from the United States' list of states sponsoring terrorism, looking forward to its transition to a new stage of development, progress and prosperity, and the exercise of its active and constructive role in the international community.


Morocco:


The Supreme Council affirmed the importance of the special strategic partnership between the GCC and the Kingdom of Morocco, and directed to intensify efforts to implement joint action plans that were agreed upon within the framework of the strategic partnership between them. The Supreme Council also affirmed its firm positions and decisions in support of Morocco's sovereignty and territorial integrity, expressing its support for the measures taken by the Kingdom of Morocco to establish freedom of civil and commercial movement in the buffer zone of Guerguerat in the Moroccan Sahara. The Supreme Council rejected any actions or practices that would affect traffic in this region.


Afghanistan:


The Supreme Council affirmed its firm stances on the importance of restoring security and stability in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in a way that realizes the hopes and aspirations of the brotherly Afghan people, and benefits regional and international peace and security.


The Supreme Council appreciated the efforts of the State of Qatar in signing the peace agreement between the United States of America and Taliban in February 2020, and the start of the Afghan peace negotiations in Doha in September 2020. The Supreme Council expressed its hope that these steps would achieve a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, and Afghanistan restore its security and stability, and realizing the hopes and aspirations of the Afghan people for development and prosperity.


The crisis of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar:


The Supreme Council expressed its condemnation of the brutal attacks and systematic displacement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State and other minorities in Kachin Shan State and other regions in Myanmar, rejecting ethnic discrimination or classification. The Supreme Council called for facilitating the return of displaced persons and refugees to their cities and villages.


The Supreme Council noted the humanitarian assistance provided by the GCC countries to the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the refugees in Bangladesh, and the United Nations organization's provision in this regard, calling on all countries to do more to help them.


Strategic partnerships between the Gulf Cooperation Council and other countries and groups:


The Supreme Council directed to strengthen the existing cooperation and partnership relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council system and the countries, regional systems and effective international organizations. The Supreme Council affirmed the importance of the quick completion of implementation of joint action plans.


The Supreme Council affirmed that priority is given to the completion of free trade negotiations in order to enhance the strategic and economic relations of the Council with other states and regional groups in a way that achieves common interests, and mandated the Secretary-General to submit periodic reports on the progress of free trade negotiations between the Cooperation Council and the People's Republic of China, the Republic of India, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and other countries and groups agreed upon.


The Supreme Council directed that the existing strategic partnerships are to be strengthened with the brotherly countries, with brotherly countries, including Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Iraq.


The Supreme Council directed to intensify efforts to strengthen the strategic partnership with the United States of America in all fields, praising the efforts made by the United States to strengthen its presence in the region to enhance the security of the region, waterways and freedom of navigation.


The Supreme Council directed the completion of the implementation of joint action plans, within the framework of the strategic partnership between the Cooperation Council and the United Kingdom in all fields, praising the efforts made by the United Kingdom to strengthen its presence in the region to enhance its security and stability.


The Supreme Council directed to strengthen strategic relations and economic cooperation with France, Russia, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR) and other countries as well as the international and regional active organizations in the EU and American continents. The Supreme Council directed to complete the necessary procedures, plans and programs to enhance cooperation with the People's Republic of China, Pakistan, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and other friendly countries and active organizations in the Asian continent.


The Supreme Council directed to take the necessary measures to complete the implementation of the action plan in the African continent and the joint action plans for cooperation with the states and organizations active in the African continent.


The Supreme Council offered its deep appreciation and gratitude for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and his government and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the generous hospitality and a good reception, and the sincere brotherhood feelings that the meeting enjoyed.


The Supreme Council expressed welcome to hold its forty-second session in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


(Saudi Press Agency)


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