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UAE re-affirms commitment to GCC

posted on 08/12/2003: 616 views

The UAE has re-affirmed its commitment to the progress of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), ahead of the 24th six-member states Summit due to be held in Kuwait on 21st of this month. "The UAE has a special responsibility towards the GCC, given the fact that the organisation came into being in a summit held in Abu Dhabi in 1981. The Council has also made many successes since its formation and is set to achieve more for the people of the region. It is for these reasons that President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan feels a special responsibility and sympathy towards the council," UAE Foreign Minster Rashid Abdullah said.

In an interview with the Kuwaiti Journalists Association, Abdullah said that the GCC future plans were being implemented with full consensus and free will of the member countries. He said the organisation was born under difficult circumstances, notably the Iran-Iraq which erupted in 1981. The outbreak of the war in the region made the issue of security a paramount issue for the council, he recalled. The minister stressed the need for member states to reinforce the council as it is the only viable shield to protect the region.

He pointed out that the upcoming summit in Kuwait will discuss, amongst other issues, security and economic cooperation in addition to ways for greater involvement of the GCC people. Asked about the possibility of Iraq becoming a GCC member, the minister said the council is open to sister Arab countries, including Iraq. He added that Iraq still had a long way to go with respect to domestic and regional issues. Iraq, he said, share many common features with the GCC countries. On UAE relations with Iran, he said there was a desire for moderation and reconciliation on the side of Iran, adding that the UAE hopes this policy would lead to resolution of the issue of the occupied UAE islands through international arbitration or direct talks. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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