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Arabs in talks with US on security pact

HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah attends the opening ceremony of Al-Tareef Cultural district in Riyadh

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 10, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Sunday thanked Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz for chairing the GCC summit, which contributed to positive outcome. His Highness the Amir, in a cable to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques following his return from Riyadh, said the resolutions of the one-day summit would achieve further prosperity and progress “for our countries and people.” His Highness the Amir also expressed content for participation in the inauguration of Al- Tareef Cultural District in Riyadh.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is received by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as HH the Amir returns home after participating in the Riyadh GCC summit.

His Highness the Amir and an official delegation accompanying returned home from Saudi Arabia Sunday after chairing Kuwait’s delegation to the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council’s summit. His Highness the Amir was received by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, as well as senior government officials.

His Highness the Amir was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf, Amiri Diwan Undersecretary and Director of His Highness the Amir’s office Ahmad Al-Fahad, Head of Amiri Protocols Sheikh Khaled Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al- Jarallah, head of Media and Culture Affiars at Amiri Diwan Yusuf Al-Roumi, Head of Amiri Diwan’s Political and Economic Affairs Sheikh Fawaz Saud Al-Sabah, and Assistant Foreign Minister for the Minister’s office Ambassador Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al- Sabah.

Meanwhile, Arab countries are in talks with the United States for a new security agreement to protect the Middle East from “external aggression”, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Sunday. “The aim is to achieve security arrangements in the Middle East that can protect the region from external aggression … and strengthen relations between the United States and the countries of the region,” Jubeir said. The Saudi minister was talking at a news conference at the end of a Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh. Asked about reports of talks on the creation of an Arab- American military alliance against Iran, he said: “Talks are continuing between the United States and the Gulf states around this question and ideas are being drawn up”. “It’s a work in progress and the two parties want to see it happen,” said Jubeir, adding that the alliance would include Egypt and be called the Middle East Strategic Alliance, or MESA.

Media reports have indicated in recent months that an Arab- American anti-Iranian alliance could emerge, and that it would be similar to NATO. Al-Jubeir said on Sunday that the GCC council plays a major role in coordinating political positions on regional and international issues. In a press conference after the conclusion of GCC 39th summit, Al-Jubeir stressed importance on the GCC leaders’ firm stance to ensure the security and stability of the region and the world.

The minister mentioned the support given by the council to Lebanese Prime Ministerdesignate Saad Al-Hariri and his efforts to establish a government of national concord, including support to the security and stability of Iraq, and support to Syrian people to reach a peaceful solution based on Security Council Resolution 2254.

Al-Jubeir pointed to the role of the council in finding a peaceful solution in Yemen in line with the Gulf initiative, in addition to supporting Libya and establishing reconciliation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The minister stressed that GCC countries have strategic partnerships with major countries in the world such as the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Al-Jubeir added that since its establishment in 1981, the GCC has played a large and very positive role in enhancing cooperation, coordination and solidarity among its countries and peoples. He pointed out that has led to activating coordination and cooperation in the fields of health, education, trade and investment.

For his part, GCC Secretary General Abdulatif Al-Zayani asserted on the importance of bolstering ties among GCC countries and friendly nations, similar to the relationship between the US and GCC. Al-Zayani noted that discussions in the summit focused on such relations and views that would calls for optimism based on the agreement in its general perspective. Al-Zayani pointed out that one of the most highlighted issues during the meeting of leaders were similar to the adoption of laws and strategies to ensure a greater acceleration of the Gulf joint action in terms of economic, political and security, in line with the changes in the regional and rapid changes in the international arenas.

The Secretary General noted on the keenness of GCC leaders and contribution to the development and prosperity of their countries and the well-being of their peoples. Al-Jubeir said Riyadh was keen on stability of Lebanon, and rejected any Iranian role in formation of the government in Beirut. “The Kingdom wishes the best for the Republic of Lebanon … and is providing assistance in that direction,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference after conclusion of GCC 39th summit. Saudi Arabia, he said, rejected “a role by Iran or Hezbollah terrorist group in the Lebanon government which is due to be formed, because this will only bring devastation.” He hoped Lebanon advanced towards security and development. The GCC leaders reaffirmed keenness on maintaining unity of member countries and noted their Gulf bloc realized many achievements that contributed to regional security, stability, economic and social prosperity.

They said challenges required further efforts to achieve integration at economic, social, political, security and military levels, said the declaration. They called for completing programs and projects needed to honor Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s integration vision to ultimately boost the regional and international role of the GCC. They called for addressing all obstacles to achieve economic integration by 2025 and to complete requirement for creation of the common market and custom union.

The GCC leaders appointed a commander for the joint military command to advance towards completion of the joint defense system, while underlining importance of the bloc’s role in addressing extreme ideologies through promotion of moderation, tolerance, human rights, rule of law and Islamic Sharia. They called for joining hands with partners within the international community to eliminate terrorism and drying its financing resources. The leaders also called for forming a “single and effective” foreign policy to be based on the statute, noted the declaration. They reiterated support for the Palestinian cause and the Yemeni people.

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