Monday 8 March 2021

GCC leaders sign key AlUla declaration; call for joint action to combat regional threats

AL-ULA (Saudi Arabia), January 5, 2021

The leaders of the Gulf countries signed the final communique of the 41st GCC Summit, held in Saudi Arabia, calling for unity and joint action to combat threats against GCC’s security and also in coordinating their efforts to encounter common challenges, said a report.
During a landmark summit held at Maraya Concert Hall in the historic Saudi city of AlUla, chaired by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, on behalf of King Salman, the leaders signed the final communiqué, termed as "AlUla Declaration".
The summit was named 'the Summit of Sultan Qaboos and Sheikh Sabah, in the memory of the two dynamic leaders and 'appreciation of their efforts.' It was attended by the leaders and representatives of the member nations including the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. 
Meanwhile, Saudi Press Agency reported that HRH Prince Mohammed and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tammim bin Hamad Al Thani met today at Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla and reviewed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways of consolidating the GCC joint action.
The meeting was attended by Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of the State and Member of the Cabinet, and the Qatari Emir's accompanying delegation, stated the report.
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa sent a cable of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the success of the 41st GCC summit, said the BNA report. 
HM the King lauded the tremendous efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman and HRH Crown Prince Mohammed to prepare well for the summit.
HM King Hamad expressed appreciation for and pride in the leading role played by the Saudi King and Crown Prince to develop joint GCC action and enhance cooperation and coordination among GCC states in order to meet the aspirations of brotherly GCC peoples for more unity, cooperation and complementarity, stated the report.
The Saudi decision to open its airspace and borders to Qatar was the first major step toward ending the diplomatic crisis that began in 2017, just as the Trump administration was raising pressure on Iran. 
The Saudi move was announced Monday night, on the eve of the gathering of Gulf Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia’s ancient desert city of Al-Ula, reported AP.
The AlUla declaration marks a new page in relations following the kingdom’s decision to end a 3 1/2-year embargo of Qatar, easing a rift that deeply divided regional US security allies and frayed social ties across the interconnected Arabian Peninsula, it added.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who embraced Qatar’s emir upon his arrival at the summit, said the region needed to unite and face challenges posed by Iran’s proxies and its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
He said the declaration signed by Gulf leaders and Egypt “emphasizes Arab and Gulf solidarity and stability, and reinforces the continuity of friendship and brotherhood between our countries.”
In a press conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan said the agreement reached between the GCC leaders calls for joint cooperation to combat any threats to Gulf security and not to compromise the GCC’s sovereignty.
At the conclusion of the summit, The GCC Secretary General, Dr Nayef Falah Al Hajraf expressed his gratitude towards all the GCC leaders for their unequivocal efforts in making this historic summit a success, demonstrating the unwavering commitment of the GCC to overcome obstacles in the way towards furthering economic integration and development for the citizens of the cooperation council.

Al Hajraf said: "The 41st GCC summit marks a new era of the GCC, representing a union of partnerships, strength and unity as we embark together on the fifth decade of this union. This historic summit reiterates the commitment of their Majesties and Highnesses of member states to achieving the Council’s firm objectives to continue coordination and integration across all sectors."

"The future of the GCC in this new era, under the leadership of their Majesties and Highnesses, will foster development, ensure stability and security, and will provide hope and opportunity for the citizens of member states," he added.


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