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US, GCC firm in confronting threats

RIYADH, July 17: Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and US have agreed on enhancing defense, security and intelligence cooperation to protect the Gulf region’s security and stability as well as the freedom of maritime navigation. In a joint statement following their summit in Jeddah on Saturday, the leaders also voiced their support for all diplomatic efforts to reduce regional tensions. “The GCC welcomes the US’ reaffirmation that it will always work with the GCC to deter and confront all external threats against the [GCC’s] security and against vital maritime routes particularly the straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb,” reads the statement.

HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah delivering his speech on behalf of HH the Amir at the summit.

They also voiced firm determination to cement cooperation and coordination to develop defense capabilities and to counter threats posed by growing use of drones and winged missiles and supplying terrorist militias and armed groups with weapons. They reiterated support for efforts to guarantee that the Gulf region would remain free of mass destruction weapons and the diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon, countering terrorism and all destabilizing activities in the region. “The leaders also welcomed establishing Combined Task Force 153 and Combined Task Force 59 to strengthen defense coordination between GCC countries and the US Central Command to help detect naval threats and developing naval defenses through the employment of the state-of-art systems and technologies” added the statement said.

The US president and the GCC leaders agreed on buttressing coordination to support efforts aimed at helping with the recovery of the international economy and at addressing the negative economic repercussions which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. “The US welcomed the Arab Coordination Group’s decision to provide at least USD 10 billion to help with the response to food security challenges regionally and internationally,” the statement said, adding that GCC leaders also welcomed the US’ decision to provide USD 1 billion in near- and long-term food security assistance for the Middle East and North Africa region.

The leaders also praised the efforts of OPEC+ to achieve the stability of global oil markets in a manner that serves the interests of both producers and consumers and welcomed OPEC+ recent decision to increase production in July and August. The US commended the decision of some GCC countries plans’ to invest USD 3 billion in infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries. The US hailed the GCC donation of USD 100 million for the Palestinian medical sector, particularly to overhaul East Jerusalem hospitals.

Amir’s Rep delivers speech Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Saturday delivered Kuwait speech to the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, which gathered the leaders of the GCC states, the United States, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Welcoming the other leaders attending, His Highness the Crown Prince conveyed to them the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He thanked Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for their warm hospitality and “the special preparation” for the summit. “This is fourth important summit meeting between the GCC member countries and the friendly United States, with which we have deeprooted historical relationship and strategic interests,” he noted.

“The summit gains additional significance as it coincides with accelerated exceptional challenges in the region, including the political, economic and security threats, which require more consultation and coordination. “To address such challenges we need to reach a clear-cut vision for strengthening security and stability in this critical part of the world through cooperation with our strategic partner – the United States and the sisterly Arab countries represented here today – the Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Iraq,” His Highness the Crown Prince said. “I’d like to welcome President Joe Biden, who is on his first trip to the region to take part in this strategic summit, recalling with pride the level of our relationship with friendly the United States and the outstanding achievements in various fields. “With gratitude, we, the leadership and people of Kuwait, recall the prominent role of the US and our brothers in the GCC, notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and other peace-loving countries, in the Kuwait Liberation Operation against the Iraqi invasion in 1990.

“The State of Kuwait takes pride in belonging to this blessed grouping, the GCC, which make outstanding achievements over the past four decades. “The GCC pursues confidently commitment to the strategic partnership with the United States based on belief in its inevitability amidst the accelerated developments, which require more cooperation and integration. “We in the GCC hope that this summit will be a new starting point for addressing all outstanding issues of the Middle East, on top of which is the Palestine question.

OIC summit outcomes
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed on Sunday the outcomes of Jeddah Security and Development Summit, held yesterday, saying the summit backed the efforts to ensure the region’s security and development. The speeches given by Arab leaders during the talks were an accurate assessment of the status quo in the region, the Jeddah-based bloc said in a statement. The leaders of Arabian Gulf states, in addition to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the US gathered for talks in Jeddah on Saturday, vowing to ratchet up cooperation in a bid to preserve regional security and development. , (KUNA)

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