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Abdullah bin Zayed opens GCC Foreign Ministers meeting

posted on 06/09/2006: 778 views



Jeddah - Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan opened in Jeddah yesterday the 100th session of the GCC Ministerial Council. Sheikh Abdullah delivered a speech in which he presented topics to be discussed by the GCC foreign ministers, including economic, political and security cooperation.



"We are required to intensify coordination and to unify ranks to confront the serious developments witnessed in the region," Sheikh Abdullah said. He added that despite the important steps taken to facilitate intra-GCC trade exchange, there are still obstacles that need to be removed.



Sheikh Abdullah decried the flagrant Israeli aggression against Lebanon which resulted in killing of women and children, forced thousands to flee their homes and destroyed the country's infrastructure.



"We urge the international community and permanent members of the Security Council to take immediate steps to end the siege imposed by Israel on Lebanese territories," he added.



Sheikh Abdullah expressed that hope that Iran will respond to the initiatives calling on it end its occupation of the UAE's three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa and to pursue peaceful means to end the dispute based on international law or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.



He renewed the GCC concern that that any environmental disaster caused by the nuclear tests would pose great risks to the GCC states.



"The GCC countries support international efforts being made on this matter and call on all parties involved to resort to diplomatic means to avoid more tension in the region. They also emphasise the need to make the Middle East free of all kinds of Weapons of Mass Destruction."



Sheikh Abdullah urged a swift and effective action by the international community and the world's powers to resolve the Palestinian issue and to ease the plight of the Palestinian people, adding that all parties must be compelled to implement international resolutions and that the Security Council must take the responsibility of finding a peaceful, just and comprehensive solution to the Middle East crisis.



The Council also condemned the Israeli attacks against innocent civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Sheikh Abdullah reiterated support for Iraq's unity and stability and sovereignty.



In his speech, Dr Hadef bin Jawan Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the Consultative Board of the GCC Supreme Council, stressed the role of economic partnership in further bolstering ties among the GCC countries. He referred to six framework agreements ratified by the Supreme Council during its 21st session, held in 2000. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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