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GCC endorses Security pact

posted on 15/05/2012: 2298 views

Manama - The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) yesterday endorsed an agreement that will promote collective security among the six member states.

Abdul Latif Al Zayani, the GCC secretary-general, said at a press conference in Riyadh following the 14th GCC Consultative summit that all the countries approved the accord and that the leaders have instructed their interior ministers to sign it.

The agreement stipulates full cooperation between member states and mutual responsibilities to preserve their collective security and stability.

It also highlights the need to promote common security arrangements to the highest standards to help combat transnational and organised crime. It also boosts full compliance with the law by all GCC citizens in the member states.

Earlier this month, Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Saudi crown prince and interior minister, said that the GCC security agreement would help "preserve our achievements and stability and would ensure the collective security of our countries."

"Any threat or harm to any of the GCC states targets all of us," he told a meeting of GCC interior ministers.

Initial agreement

The initial security agreement was announced in Manama in December 1994, but only Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman endorsed it. Qatar followed in 2009.

The GCC leaders at their 2010 summit in Kuwait called for its upgrade by a committee from experts and specialists from the GCC states.

The support by the six member states on Monday is seen as an outstanding step forward in the Council's history.

Support to UAE

In his remarks at the consultative summit press conference, Prince Saud Al Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said that the GCC fully supported the UAE in its conflict with Iran over the occupied UAE islands and praised its "wise vision in solving the case peacefully." Prince Saud also blasted Tehran over its stance towards Bahrain and a likely union with Saudi Arabia.

"Iran has no right whatsoever to interfere in the talks and measures between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, even if it is the union," he said. Earlier, Tehran said 190 lawmakers opposed the union between Manama and Riyadh, claiming such a move would destabilise the region.

However, Prince Saud rejected the allegations and said that the GCC did not mind Iran uniting with any country it liked and hoped that Tehran would respect the good neighbourhood relations with the GCC states.

The Saudi foreign minister said that the GCC leaders had postponed the announcement of a Gulf union to allow time for further studies and research that would ensure a smooth and clear transition that would not allow room for misinterpretation. – Gulf News


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