GCC affirms support for Mubarak Al-Kabeer port Iran rejects claim

JEDDAH, Sept 12, (Agencies): The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Sunday affirmed support to the State of Kuwait’s construction of Mubarak Al-Kabeer port because it will be built on Kuwaiti territories, within its territorial waters and within borders approved by UN resolutions.
The GCC foreign ministers voiced backing for Kuwait during a meeting held Sunday evening and chaired by UAE’s foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nuhayyan.
Kuwait had recently briefed an Iraqi technical team that Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port would not harm Iraq but would be beneficial for the entire region.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said a report by the technical team, submitted following their visit to Kuwait, dismissed all fears about the port.
In a final statement, the GCC foreign ministers, meanwhile, said they were confident that Iraq would honor international obligations relevant to Kuwait, a matter that would help build confidence between both countries.
They asserted the importance of Iraq fully complying with all UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, complete maintenance of border signs with Kuwait, check whereabouts of the remains of prisoners and missing persons of Kuwait and third countries, as well as return Kuwait’s national archive and properties.
The national archive and other properties were stolen by the defunct regime of Saddam Hussein during its seven-month occupation of Kuwait in 1990-91.
The GCC also affirmed respect for Iraq’s unity, stability, independence and regional safety. They called for not interferring in Iraq’s affairs and also speeding up the national conciliation.
On Syria, the foreign ministers called on the regime in Damascus to implement “serious and immediate” reforms that honor aspirations of the Syrian people.
They expressed great regret for the violent actions in Syria that killed and injured a large numbers of civilians. The foreign ministers underscored keenness on Syria’s stability, security and unity. They expressed concern for the continuous bloodshed, rising violence and the use of force. They called for an immediate halt to the “killing machine” and to seek wisdom.
They urged the Syrian authorities to comply with the Arab initiative.
On Libya, however, the foreign ministers voiced relief that the Libyan people had achieved their objective. They supported the National Transitional Council (NTC) and Libyan-related UN resolutions.
Regarding Yemen, the Arab Gulf foreign ministers expressed grave concern for the deterioration of security in Yemen, urging all parties to exercise self-restraint to pave the way for a peaceful transfer of authority.
On relations with Iran, the top diplomats said it was important to maintain good neighborly relations based on mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs, solving disputes peacefully and refraining from threats to use force.
They expressed worry about provocative statements by Iranian officials and media against a number of GCC countries, a matter that violates good neighborliness, Charters of the UN and OIC. They called for halting these statements because they would not serve bilateral ties nor the regional stability.
On Iran’s nuclear file, the GCC countries welcomed efforts by the P5+1 to address the nuclear issue peacefully, and hoped Tehran would adhere to these endeavors.
They reiterated calls that the Middle East region should be free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and nuclear arms, including Israel.
The foreign ministers affirmed right of the regional countries to using nuclear energy for peaceful means and in line with international standards.
Turning to the Palestinian issue, the foreign ministers said peace would only be achieved through full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories to the June 4, 1967 borders, including the lands in Palestine, Syrian Golan Heights and southern Lebanon.
Peace should lead to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, they asserted.
They condemned the Israeli aggression against Gaza Strip and Egyptian territories killing and wounding many innocent civilians. They also condemned Israel’s demolishing and desecration of holy sites.
The foreign ministers called on the international community and the Quartet to exercise pressure on Israel to stop its hostile actions, and to lift the siege on Gaza.
They denounced the Israeli government’s construction of thousands of housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank.
Iran has rejected accusations by the Gulf Cooperation Council that Tehran issued provocative statements about its member states, the state television website reported on Monday.
“The Islamic republic’s regional policy has always followed the principles of mutual respect, (being) good-neighbourly and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by the website as saying.
He was reacting to the closing statement of a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Jeddah on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, some (people) are influenced by the media run by the (world) arrogance and through disregarding the interests of regional nations, carry out a negative campaign against the Islamic republic of Iran and create misunderstandings between regional countries,” Mehmanparast said.
“This issue will have a harmful effect on regional ties and the region’s stability and security,” he added.

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