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‘GCC unity, solidarity intact’ – Ties must endure

Photo shows the 144th meeting of GCC Foreign Ministers in progress at Bayan Palace on Dec 4 ahead of the 38th GCC Summit.

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 4, (Agencies): The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) unity and solidarity is still intact, standing against various kinds of challenges and trials over the years, affirmed First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah Monday. Delivering his opening speech to the 144th Foreign Ministers meeting, held ahead of the 38th Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Summit on Dec 5-6, Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled welcomed the meeting’s participants, saying that their presence will contribute to the success of the summit.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled thanked Bahrain for hosting the 37th GCC Summit, affirming that the fellow GCC country is an integral member of the council. He also thanked the GCC Secretariat and participants for attending the preparatory meeting. The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the current summit, noting that it will contribute to the continuation of the council’s success

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and his fellow GCC leaders are hopeful that the summit will continue to be the venue that serves the people of the region and carries on the rapid development of GCC nations, said Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled.

He noted that the GCC supportive stance during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 and the subsequent liberation of Kuwait in 1991 was one of the many instances that proved the strength of the regional body against aggressors.

The Kuwaiti Foreign Minister hoped that the current summit will meet the aspirations and dreams of the people in the region and would continue the GCC’s strong stride towards a bright future. The strategic ties linking the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must continue to address current and future challenges, said the council’s Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani Monday.

Delivering his speech to the 144th Foreign Ministers meeting, held ahead of the 38th GCC Summit on Dec 5-6, Al-Zayani thanked the Kuwaiti leadership for hosting the grand event which hopefully continues the success story of the council.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s strong support to the GCC’s stability, security, and cooperation is a clear example of Kuwaiti generosity and supportive stance, said Al-Zayani. Meanwhile, the GCC Secretary General congratulated First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled for hosting the ministerial meeting, indicating that it will be one the main reasons for the success of the summit. Al-Zayani also thanked Bahrain for hosting the previous 37th summit in Manama.

The GCC Secretary General thanked the council’s top consultative authorities and the Secretariat for contributing to the ministerial meeting, saying that the GCC leaders will look into decisions which will come in favor of the development of the Gulf countries. The GCC Summit is very crucial under the current circumstances, said Al-Zayani who affirmed that Gulf leaders were up to the task at hand. Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will attend the 38th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit hosted by Kuwait on Tuesday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister said on Sunday.

At a forum in Doha, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al- Thani said he would be attending Ministerial Council talks ahead of the summit in Kuwait tomorrow on Monday. The minister underlined that Doha was keen to address all matters, including the ongoing Gulf dispute. He also hoped that the feud would be resolved within the confines of the GCC and by Kuwaiti mediation. Earlier on Sunday, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said that Kuwait has completed preparations to host the Gulf leaders.

He said that “Kuwait opens its arms and welcomes the GCC leaders” to the summit, due on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding he hoped the talks would support the continuation of the bloc’s welcomed accomplishments that benefit its peoples.

As Kuwait readied to host the two-day GCC summit, analysts said its efforts to bring about a peaceful end to the crisis may be at a complete standstill. “The crisis is too deep and very complicated … I don’t think it will be resolved during the summit,” said independent Kuwaiti political analyst Saleh al-Saeedi. “But I think Kuwait hopes to at least freeze the dispute, stop its deterioration and move on to the next step.”

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