GCC to set up joint military, police unit
Kuwait , December 12, 2013
In a major step forward to consolidate regional security, Gulf leaders yesterday agreed to set up a joint military and police command.
"The GCC Supreme Council has agreed on establishing the joint military command for member states and assigned the Joint Defence Council to take necessary measures to put this agreement into effect, based on relevant studies," the final statement of the 34th GCC Summit said.
This came as His Majesty King Hamad took part in the summit's second closed-door session, chaired by Kuwaiti Amir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah at Bayan Palace, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The Gulf leaders also agreed on the formation of a joint Gulf police force.
"Ratifying the draft resolution for establishing the police force, the GCC Supreme Council stressed that the new body will boost security and help expand anti-terror co-operation and co-ordination among member states," the statement said.
The leaders also approved a proposal for setting up of the Gulf Academy for Strategic and Security Studies, and welcomed the UAE proposal to host it.
The Gulf leaders also reiterated their firm stances against terrorism and extremism and lauded efforts to put in place anti-terror laws.
"The council also expressed support to all regional and international efforts aiming to counter terrorism and terrorist organisations," they said.
'Milestone' declaration is hailed
Kuwait's Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah said the declaration, as well as the resolutions and recommendations approved at the summit, "completed GCC's achievements in the political, economic, developmental, cultural, educational, security and military fields".
He said the declaration is meant "to meet the aspirations for security, stability, progress and prosperity of the GCC member states and their people."
Meanwhile, GCC leaders praised the summit's success and paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad in recognition of his efforts as outgoing president.
They also extended their tribute to the Bahrain Government and congratulated the kingdom on Manama being named 'Capital of Asian Tourism 2014'.
The leaders also hailed the ground-breaking ceremony for the Maritime Security Co-ordination Centre in Bahrain.
His Majesty hailed the declaration as he took part in the final session, which was chaired by the Kuwaiti Amir.
It underlined the importance of continuing all efforts to achieve economic integration - including the removal of obstacles facing the creation of a common Gulf market and the customs union in order to boost trade.
Addressing the summit, the Kuwaiti Amir called for further integration to honour the aspirations of the Gulf people.
"We managed to prove to the whole world that the GCC march is capable of steadfastness and communication for serving the people of the council," he said.
He regretted UN Security Council's failure to solve the Syrian conflict - urging the GCC countries to double efforts to stop bloodshed in the Arab country.
"The humanitarian catastrophe in Syria is still continuing, and this calls upon us to double our efforts, and our work with the international community, particularly the Security Council, which is, unfortunately, incapable of shouldering its historical responsibility in ending this humanitarian suffering," he said.
All GCC countries have rushed to help Syrians, extending financial and humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of refugees in neighbouring countries - Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan - as well as for the internally displaced.
The Kuwaiti Amir had accepted the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to host a donor conference over Syria last January, which succeeded in pledging more than $1.5 billion target set by the UN.
"We responded to the call of the UN Secretary General to hold the Second Conference for Supporting the Humanitarian Situation in Syria, which is scheduled to be held in Kuwait in mid-January 2014," he said.
He called upon the GCC leaders to "actively participate, as you always did, in aiding our brothers" in Syria.
Qatari Amir Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in his capacity as the chairman of the upcoming 35th GCC Summit, also spoke. - TradeArabia News Service