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Egypt to defend Gulf from direct threat – Kuwait sees end to Gulf row

Ministerial talks dealing with joint work in the Gulf region

CAIRO, Nov 6, (Agencies): Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said the army will come to the defence of Gulf Arabs if they face any direct threats, a pro-government newspaper said on Tuesday. Youm7 newspaper also quoted Sisi as saying in response to a question on US sanctions on Iran: “Instability affects us all and any state that has instability affects all of us.” Sisi’s Egypt is aligned with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, joining their boycott of Qatar last year and opposing Iran’s regional infl uence. “Our Arab peoples must remain aware and have true consciousness of what the region is going through,”

Youm7 quoted Sisi as saying. “We stand by our brothers in the Gulf wholeheartedly and if Gulf security is directly threatened by anyone, the Egyptian people, even before their leadership, will not accept that and will mobilise forces to protect their brethren.”

Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said on Tuesday Kuwait still calls on Iran to have normal relations with its neighbors on the basis of clear foundations, mutual respect and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

Speaking to reporters following a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministerial committee meeting, he said if Iran observes such foundations and principles, “then there will be no need for sanctions”. Al-Jarallah reiterated Kuwait’s commitment to US sanctions on Iran. As for an international tendency to put an end to war on Yemen, he said: “What is going on in Yemen is painful. Still, there are indications that are hoped to be positive and to put an end to the conflict.” In this regard, the Kuwaiti official noted that recent US statements on the conflict in Yemen reflect seriousness for pushing or resuming negotiations. A protracted conflict involving the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is not insurmountable, Al-Jarallah said, hoping the standoff will not threaten the unity of the bloc. “We will do everything in our power to preserve peace, security and our existence,” he said amid ministerial talks dealing with joint work in the Gulf region.

The Kuwaiti deputy foreign minister said an issue of such enormity is too serious to be downplayed, but the “collective wisdoms of Gulf leaders would get us past this hurdle.” The talks in Kuwait are a “glimmer of hope” that the cohesion of the bloc would remain intact, he added, saying such meetings are needed to protect a bond that has stood the test of time.

Al-Jarallah went on to say that since the GCC ministerial council’s inception in 2008, tremendous progress has been made over plans to conduct joint work and keep the camaraderie within the regional bloc alive.

The GCC’s secretary general Abdul- Latif Al-Zayani thanked His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah for his commitment to bring the people of the Gulf region closer together. He highlighted the need to expedite the passage of legislations that reinforce the solidarity among Gulf nations, revealing that annual gatherings will be held to inform the people of the GCC of achievements that have been made in that regard. Such initiatives are a testament to the bloc’s eagerness to support joint work and cooperation, the GCC chief explained.

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