Zayani: Iran Should Abide by International Law

Zayani: Iran Should Abide by International Law

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 09:45
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdulatif Al-Zayani (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Riyadh - Abdulhadi Habtor
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulatif Al-Zayani said that the Iranian regime had no choice but to reconsider its political path and abide by the basic principles governing relations between States, based on the United Nations Charter and the international law.

He noted that Iran’s role in the region would be one of the topics of discussion by Gulf leaders during a summit in Riyadh on Sunday.
 
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Zayani said: “Iran is an important neighbor in the region, and the GCC has always called for constructive cooperation with it. Unfortunately, the regime continued to interfere in Gulf States’ internal affairs and to support terrorist organizations and militias with the aim to destabilize the region.”
 
With the imposition of stronger US sanctions against the country, the Iranian regime has no choice but to review its policies and abide by international laws, according to the GCC senior official.
 
On a different note, Zayani said that over the past few years, Gulf countries have managed to make several achievements, mainly the GCC economic citizenship, the common market, the customs union, the monetary union and the power linkage project.
 
He announced that the construction of railways that would link GCC countries from Muscat to Kuwait, extending over a distance of 2,200 kilometers, was another strategic development project put into implementation.
 
Elaborating on the economic citizenship, Zayani emphasized that the project provided GCC citizens with equal rights, such as ownership, movement, labor, commercial and investment activities and access to health, education and social services.
 
The official presented verified figures to highlight common progress achieved over the past few years. He said 27 million GCC nationals moved between Gulf countries within one year, while 230,000 nationals owned houses outside their countries.

Moreover, 112,000 people were given licenses to practice economic activities within the GCC. Trade exchanges among Gulf countries have witnessed a big leap, rising from $6 billion in 2003 to $133 billion in 2017, he said.
 
On whether there was an intention to revive the single currency, Zayani said: “The unified Gulf currency is one of the important economic projects in GCC countries. It is monitored by the GCC Monetary Council – an independent Gulf body – which is supervised by central bank governors and monetary institutions in the GCC States.”
 
“The Council has made significant progress in completing the technical procedures for the approval and issuance of the single currency,” he added.
 
Asked about joint defense cooperation, the GCC secretary general said he was proud of progress achieved in this area, stressing that Gulf States have been able to form and establish effective military bodies and systems.
 
“We now have a unified command and control system, in addition to the establishment of a unified military command, the opening of the common naval operations center, the launch of the naval Task Force 81 and the activation of the unified air operations and defense center,” he explained.

He went on to say that GCC countries were working to implement an advanced program to increase and enhance defense adhesion, and to further develop the Peninsula Shield Force by intensifying joint military exercises and drills among them and with friendly and allied countries.
 
Back to the regional arena, Zayani underlined GCC leaders’ keenness to discuss developments in Arab countries, including the crises in Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Iraq. He emphasized in this regard Gulf States’ determination “to support their brothers to achieve stability, security and peace, and to help them rebuild areas affected by wars and bloody conflicts, as well as to provide support and assistance to the victims and the displaced.”

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