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Riyadh Declaration Underlines GCC Unity in Confronting Challenges

Riyadh Declaration Underlines GCC Unity in Confronting Challenges

Sunday, 9 December, 2018 - 18:00
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the GCC summit in Riyadh.
Asharq Al-Awsat
The 39th Gulf Cooperation Council summit concluded in Saudi Arabia on Sunday with the Riyadh Declaration that emphasized the importance of Gulf unity in confronting challenges.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chaired the conclusion of the summit that was attended by Gulf leaders and delegations at the Dariya palace in the Saudi capital.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif al-Zayani read out the Riyadh Declaration closing statement that highlighted the dangers lurking in the region, as well as the economic challenges it is encountering.

He therefore stressed the importance of maintaining the GCC path of bolstering collective work and amassing joint efforts to confront these challenges, as well as meet the aspirations of the people.

The GCC was established 37 years ago and its charter stipulates that its members must achieve coordination among each other in all fields in order to complete their unity. They must also deepen and strengthen their ties, he continued.

“Today, the leaders of the GCC assert their keenness on preserving the strength of the council and the unity of its ranks,” Zayani added, underlining their Islamic religion, Arab culture and shared history.

“The GCC has achieved important accomplishments since its inception, which has helped transform this region into an oasis of stability, security, economic comfort and social peace,” he stated.

“However, the emergence of challenges requires more efforts to bolster joint Gulf work,” he continued.

Moreover, Zayani said that King Salman’s vision has set the necessary foundations to complete the unity of the GCC in all fields.

The Gulf leaders agreed on setting a roadmap that includes the necessary measures to achieve the vision of unity for the council. They agreed on organizing relations between the Gulf and international community in a way that guarantees more development and comfort for the people.

On the economy, the leaders voiced their commitment to the timetable that was set in completing complete economic unity among the GCC members. They agreed to remove all obstacles that may hinder their joint efforts and decisions, especially in regards to the implementation of the joint Gulf market and customs union. Complete economic unity is predicted to be achieved by 2025.

On the defense level, the gatherers agreed that the appointment of a commander for united military command for the GCC was an important step in completing the joint defense system. They urged stepping up efforts to complete all procedures needed to activate the military command and establish the Gulf academy for strategic and security studies.

On the security level, they stressed the importance of the GCC’s role in maintaining regional stability and security, confronting terrorist organizations and countering extremist ideology through promoting values of tolerance, human rights and moderation. They highlighted the rule of law and justice that are derived from Islam and Arab traditions.

Furthermore, they underscored the extreme importance of drafting a united and effective foreign strategy for the GCC that would be based on the principles of the council and work on achieving and safeguarding its interests and keeping it away from regional and international conflicts.

They stressed their support for the Palestinian cause and unity of the Palestinian people. They expressed their keenness on extending their support to the people of Yemen and all Arab countries in a way that would ensure their security and stability.

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