39th GCC Summit issues Riyadh Communique

RIYADH, 9th December, 2018 (WAM) -- The 40th session of the GCC summit will be held in the UAE, according to a communique issued at the end of the 39th summit in Riyadh.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, chaired the 39th session of the council in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The Supreme Council of GCC States welcomed the UAE's hosting of next summit and issued the 'Riyadh Declaration', which included 72 items covering matters related to the Gulf countries, the region and the world.

GCC Secretary-General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, delivered the final declaration, saying that the risks have threaten the security and stability of the region and the economic challenges it faces prove the importance of adhering to the blessed march of the GCC, enhancing collective action and mobilising the common energies to address these risks and challenges and meet the aspirations of the citizens of the GCC countries to achieve further gains of Gulf integration and the far-sighted vision of their leaders who established the Council in May 1981.

The Basic Law adopted by the Founders of the council states that the ultimate goal of the GCC is "to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the Member States in all fields in order to reach their unity and enhance bonds links, among its people in various fields."

Al-Zayani asserted the importance of bolstering ties among GCC countries and friendly nations, similar to the relationship between the US and GCC. He noted that discussions in the summit focused on such relations and views that would call for optimism based on the agreement in its general perspective.

Al-Zayani pointed out that one of the most highlighted issues during the meeting of leaders were similar to the adoption of laws and strategies to ensure a greater acceleration of the Gulf joint action in terms of economic, political and security, in line with the changes in the regional and rapid changes in the international arenas.

The Secretary-General noted on the keenness of GCC leaders and contribute to the development and prosperity of their countries and the well-being of their peoples.

Supporting the right of the UAE to regain sovereignty over its three islands: the Greater and the Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, and over the territorial waters, the airspace, the continental shelf, and the economic zone of the three islands, as they are an integral part of the UAE.

The Council expressed disappointment that the repeated contacts with the Islamic Republic of Iran have not yielded any positive outcomes that would actively contribute to the resolution of the issue, and lead to the security and stability of the region. "The Council will continuing to look into all peaceful means that would lead to the restoration of UAE's right on the three islands," according to the declaration, which also urged Iran to respond to the efforts of the UAE and the international community in solving the issue by peaceful means or taking recourse to the International Court of Justice.

The summit welcomed the announcement by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to set up a coordination council and to adopt a strategy for economic, development and military integration. The GCC leaders reaffirmed keenness on maintaining the unity of member countries and noted their Gulf bloc realised many achievements that contributed to regional security, stability, economic and social prosperity.

They said challenges required further efforts to achieve integration at economic, social, political, security and military levels, said the declaration. They also called for completing programmes and projects needed to honour Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz's integration vision to ultimately boost the regional and international role of the GCC.

They called for addressing all obstacles to achieve economic integration by 2025 and to complete the requirement for the creation of the common market and customs union.

The GCC leaders appointed a commander for the joint military command to advance towards completion of the joint defence system, while underlining the importance of the bloc's role in addressing extreme ideologies through the promotion of moderation, tolerance, human rights, rule of law and Islamic Sharia.

They called for joining hands with partners within the international community to eliminate terrorism and drying its financing resources. The leaders also called for forming a "single and effective" foreign policy to be based on the statute, noted the declaration. They reiterated support for the Palestinian cause and the Yemeni people.

GCC leaders also discussed a number of issues related to the final declaration and to Arab and Islamic dossiers. They also extended thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Chairman of the Summit, Saudi wise leadership, and people for hosting the meeting.

[image credit: Saudi Press Agency, SPA]

WAM/Hazem Hussein/MOHD AAMIR