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GCC summit ends

posted on 22/12/2004: 832 views

The 25th GCC summit ended in Manama yesterday with a final session which followed a close-door meeting of the leaders of the six-member council. President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, headed the UAE delegation during the final session of the summit. The King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, opened the final session and urged the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Atiyya, to read the final statement of the summit.

The GCC Supreme Council expressed deep grief on the demise of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who, they said, left after a life full of good works and achievements for the progress and prosperity of the United Arab Emirates and its people. The council extend its condolences to the government and people of the UAE.

The Council also expressed great regards to the late Sheikh Zayed for his leading role in the strengthening of the GCC march, his great contribution in the establishment of the GCC and for his efforts in the service of Arab and Islamic causes, as well as his efforts to achieve peace in the region and the world at large. The Council blessed the initiative of the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, for naming the 25th summit after the late Sheikh Zayed and welcomed the holding of the next summit in Abu Dhabi.

The Council approved a number of economic measures that would achieve the Gulf citizenship aspirations, including retirement insurance and social security policies to cover all GCC citizens working in member countries. It welcomed a decision issued by the King of Bahrain allowing all GCC nationals to practice all types of economic activities in the Kingdom, ordered the continuation of all the necessary studies on the GCC power grid project, the establishment of railway to link member states, the continuation of the smart card project and called for the necessary steps to be taken by all member states to implement the project.

The Council also approved a number of unified laws in the fields of agriculture and industry, as well as suggestions and proposals made on how best to solve the problem of foreign labour in member states.

It reviewed developments in the contacts that were made with various countries and economic groups in 2004, agreements signed for the setting up of free zones and the framework agreements on economic cooperation.

The final statement expressed the Council's stance on the issue of reform, which the council agreed must come from within the region itself and must take into serious consideration the nature and conditions of these countries, including their political, economic, cultural and religious conditions.

The council reiterated its political decisions, including its permanent stance on the issue of the three UAE islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, which, the council reiterated that they are integral part of the UAE's sovereignty. It expressed regret on the lack of progress so far in the contacts made with Iran to try to resolve the issue of the three islands in a peaceful way that would contribute to peace and stability in the region.

The Council renewed its total condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, whatever the motives, sources and justification. It condemned the recent terror attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah.

On the situation in Iraq, the Council expressed the hope that the US administration, the UN and the international community would work hard to enable the Iraqi people to contribute to the political process, through national elections. It condemned the bombings and other terror acts against civilians, humanitarian and religious institutions, as well as the kidnapping and slaying of innocent people.

The council reiterated the need to protect peace and stability in Iraq, expressed total rejection to all what will lead to the partitioning of Iraq, expressed deep grief over the death of Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, and extended profound condolences to the Palestinian people.

It commended the Palestinian leadership for the wise and responsible manner it is handling the transfer of power peacefully and expressed the hope that US President, George W. Bush, during his second term of office, would give priority to the issue of the Middle East in a way that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that would live side by side in peace with the State of Israel. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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