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GCC to affirm stance on UAE's islands

posted on 06/03/2005: 770 views

The Gulf Cooperation Council will further affirm its firm stance on the United Arab Emirate's three islands of Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and urge Iran to heed the sincere and repeated calls to peacefully end its occupation of the islands, either by direct negotiations or by referral of the issue to international arbitration, said the GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Attiyah said that the GCC Ministerial Council will discuss in its forthcoming session, to be held in Riyadh on March 13, the GCC countries' relations with Iran.

He warned Iran of any "provocative action" in the three islands that might change their nature and further complicate the issue, hindering efforts to resolve the issue by peaceful means.

Al Attiyah called on the international community to remain alert to the perils of the Iranian nuclear programme. "There is no justification for Iran to develop its nuclear programme in a region that has already suffered the woes of war for many years. The international community should stay vigilant to the dangers this programme could pose and carefully monitor it, emanating from the GCC countries' efforts to make the region free of weapons of mass destruction and from the global tendency for dismantling such weapons, including nuclear ones," he said.

On the current developments in the Syrian-Lebanese relations, Al Attiyah noted that the special ties between the two countries should resolve the standoff through fraternal and diplomatic dialogue. He also called on the Arab countries, gearing up for their summit in Algiers next month, to reinforce joint Arab action and to provide mechanism for resolving crises.

Al Attiyah explained that the Ministerial Council shall explore in its meeting in Riyadh the progress of the GCC in the light of the 25th Summit of the GCC countries' leaders which was convened in Al Manama last December,2004, and also in the light of the current political developments, especially those related to conditions in Iraq based on the recent elections results , the formation of a temporary National Assembly, election of a President , Vice Presidents, a Prime Minister, and drafting of a constitution.

He added that the Council shall discuss developments regarding the Palestinian cause based on the positive current conditions , the truce agreement between the Palestinian and the Israelis, the outcome of the London Conference, towards reaching a comprehensive solution and the establishment of a Palestinian State.

He said that the Council shall discuss the phenomenon of terrorism, especially that the GCC countries have succeeded in formulating the compatible elements for dealing with it, adding that the GCC leaders have previously taken steps to combat terrorism as evident in Riyadh Summit in 1987, Muscat Declaration in 2001, the Security Agreement for Combating Terrorism in 2004, and also through GCC countries taking part in all regional and global anti-terrorism agreements.

He said that the GCC countries look forward to convening the 26th Summit Conference in Abu Dhabi at the end of current year, as a new and unique addition to the Council's credit. He lauded the crucial role played by late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in establishing the GCC. He also praised the role of His Highness President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his powerful support of the Council in all aspects. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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