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GCC Ministerial Council reaffirms constant stances against terrorism

RIYADH, 30th March, 2017 (WAM) -- The Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) affirmed the GCC constant stances and resolutions against terrorism and extremism and confirmed the GCC's continued support for the international coalition to fight the terrorist organisation (Daesh) in Syria and Iraq, stressing the need to protect civilians and return of the displaced people to their cities and villages.

The GCC Ministerial Council issued the following press statement: The Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States held its 142nd session on Thursday, 30th March 2017, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat under the chairmanship of Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with participation of the GCC Foreign Ministers and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the GCC.

The Ministerial Council reviewed the issues on its agenda related to the GCC joint action and reviewed the progress of implementing the decisions of the GCC Supreme Council and the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on enhancing the GCC joint action as well as consultations on implementation of the Council's decisions to continue efforts to move from the phase of cooperation to the phase of union.

The Council decided to adopt the general framework and regulations and rules for honouring the competencies in the GCC civil service sectors. The council was briefed on the reports of the Secretariat General regarding the GCC railway project, strategic urban planning, free trade negotiations and cooperation and strategic partnership with countries and international economic groups.

The Ministerial Council reviewed the most important developments of these issues, as follows: The GCC Ministerial Council welcomed the outcomes of the 28th Arab Summit held in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 29 March 2017 and its constructive resolutions that serve the Arab issues and contribute to the achievement of the objectives and aspirations of the Arab States.

The Ministerial Council reiterated its concern over the continued abduction of a number of Qatari citizens in Iraq, calling upon the Iraqi government to assume its responsibility to ensure the safety of the kidnapped citizens and release them.

Combating Terrorism: 1. The Ministerial Council affirmed the GCC constant stances and resolutions against terrorism and extremism. The council reviewed the developments in this regard. It also confirmed a continuation of the GCC support regarding the international coalition to fight the terrorist organisation (Daesh) in Syria and Iraq, stressing the need to protect civilians and return of the displaced people to their cities and villages.

The council welcomed outcomes of the international conference to promote efforts of the Islamic and friendly countries against ISIS terrorist organization held in Riyadh on January 15, 2017. The council considered this conference as a commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support all international efforts to combat terrorism.

2. The Ministerial Council hailed an award received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior, from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the distinguished intelligence work in the field of combating terrorism, which is an international recognition of the Kingdom's outstanding work in the fight against terrorism.

3. The Ministerial Council lauded the efforts exerted by the security services in the Kingdom of Bahrain and its high efficiency in maintaining the security and stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its territorial integrity, praising its efforts to foil smuggling of a number of wanted fugitives in terrorist cases. The council supported all efforts taken by Bahrain in maintaining its security and stability.

4. The Ministerial Council condemned the terrorist attack on the guest house of Kandahar Governor which resulted in the martyrdom of the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Afghanistan and five diplomats during a humanitarian mission within the assistance program provided by the United Arab Emirates in Afghanistan.

5. The Ministerial Council lauded the opening of the NATO Regional Center for the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries in Kuwait to enhance aspects of joint coordination and cooperation in the security fields.

6. The Ministerial Council welcomed the statement issued by the US Department of State, which included placing of some persons belonging to the so-called Saraya Al-Ashtar on the list of global terrorists, stressing that this position reflects the determination of the United States to address all forms of terrorism at the regional and international levels.

The council stressed that this stance represents a tangible support for the efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain to promote security and peace in Bahrain.

7. The Ministerial Council expressed its deep condemnation of the statement made by the representative of the Swiss Confederation before the United Nations Human Rights Council in its 34th session in Geneva on human rights in Bahrain.

The council expressed its categorical rejection of the allegations in the statement which ignores the efforts exerted by Bahrain in protecting and enhancing human rights. The council expressed hope that the Swiss government is to review its position and take information on human rights from the reliable sources. The council stressed that these rejected positions do not help to develop and strengthen the common relations between the GCC States and the Swiss Union.

The situation in the Palestinian territories and developments of the Arab-Israeli conflict: 8. The Ministerial Council stressed the GCC firm and permanent stances and resolutions towards the Palestinian Cause, stressing that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace can be achieved only with the full withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and with establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the international relevant resolutions.

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