Riyadh hosts 153rd GCC Foreign Ministers’ Summit | Atalayar

The Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday hosted two high-level meetings between the foreign ministers of several powers in the Middle East and Central Asia. On the one hand, the foreign ministers of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – as well as Saudi Arabia itself – met within the framework of the 153rd summit of ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).

The meeting, chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, follows the previous summit held in June where issues such as the common fight against terrorism in the region, the Israeli-Palestinian cause and the war in Yemen were discussed. Thus, the memoranda and reports drafted during the 42nd meeting in Riyadh were at the heart of discussions on regional positioning in the bloc’s strategic relations. This has been worked on in terms of monitoring and control.

The fight against terrorism has become one of the focal points. “The Council endorsed the GCC’s strong positions on terrorism, and its rejection of all forms of violence and extremism, as well as the commitment of Member States to continue their efforts within the international coalition to combat the terrorist organization ISIS, and international and regional efforts against all extremist terrorist organizations to exhaust their sources of funding,” said a joint statement released after the session.

Furthermore, regarding the regional hostility of most countries towards Iranian expansion, the statement reaffirms “the firm positions of the Cooperation Council, which rejects the occupation by Iran of the three Emirati islands of Great Tumb, Lesser Tumb and Abu Musa. Emphasizing support for the sovereignty of the UAE over its three islands, territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, as an indivisible part of the territory of the UAE. Considering that any practice or action carried out by Iran on the three islands is null and void”. He also condemned the nuclear program of the Persian Islamic Republic and called for the respect of the principles of good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty nationality and non-interference in internal affairs promulgated by the United Nations.

Riyadh also hosted the first summit between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Central Asian countries at the level of foreign ministers. According to the Secretary General of the GCC, Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, the main objective of the meeting was to serve as a meeting place for a strategic dialogue, which will establish a new stage of cooperation between the two regions in more wide, and will contribute to strengthening and consolidating the Arab bloc, both regionally and internationally.

At the end of his tour in the countries of Central Asia during the first week of August, Falah Al-Hajraf, who witnessed the signing of several memorandums of understanding, stressed the need to create a common institutional framework for the improvement of mutual relations in the political, economic and cultural fields.

After a welcome tour of various sites in the historic district of Turaif – such as the Diriyah Museum, the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Mosque and the Arabian Horse Museum – the diverse group of Central Asian and Middle Eastern also addressed many other issues, such as the Iraqi political crisis, the war in Syria, the death of the leaders of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, respectively Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the instability in countries such as Lebanon, Libya and Sudan.

Finally, and with the aim of working on “global economic recovery and dealing with complications arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the resumption of supply chains, transport and communications, food security, energy security and water security and the development of green energy”, the countries present agreed to adopt “the joint action plan for strategic dialogue and cooperation for the period 2023-2027, which includes political and security dialogue, economic and investment cooperation, the strengthening of communication between peoples, and the establishment of effective partnerships between the business sector”.

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