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  Statement of the 43rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

General Secretariat - Muscat
 The Ministerial Council of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) held its 43rd extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, chaired by His Excellency Sayyed Badr bin Hamad bin Humoud Al-Busaidi, with the participation of:

- His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates,
- His Excellency Dr. Abdulatif bin Rashed Al-Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain,
- His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
- His Excellency Shaikh Muhammed bin Abdurahman Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar,
- His Excellency Shaikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait,
And His Excellency Jasem Muhammed Albudaiwi, the GCC Secretary-General.
 
The Ministerial Council opened its deliberations by expressing appreciation and gratitude for His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tareq, Sultan of Oman, for the gracious audience His Majesty granted to their Highnesses and Excellencies the foreign ministers of GCC member states and the GCC Secretary General, where they listened to His Majesty’s vision regarding current conditions and His wise and astute instructions toward the good and mutual benefit for all, and for strengthening the foundations of security, stability and prosperity.
 
The Ministerial Council discussed developments in the Palestinian territories in light of the escalation of violence and illegal bombing of residential areas in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the death and injury of thousands of innocent civilians. The Ministers discussed Israel's intentions to invade the Gaza Strip and displace civilian population, as well as the urgent and serious challenges facing the region as a result of these events.  The Ministerial Council agreed on the following:
1. The Council urgently demanded an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s military operations in Gaza and its illegal blockade, to ensure access for humanitarian aid and relief supplies and other basic necessities, as well as the restoration of electricity, water, and allow the delivery of fuel, food, medicine, to the people of Gaza.  
2. The Council stressed its support for the steadfastness of Palestinian people in their homeland and warned against any attempts to displace or transfer them.
3. The Council called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, refrain from targeting them and to abide and implement by international law and international humanitarian law in every respect without exception. And called for the release of innocent hostages and detainees, especially women, children, the sick and elderly. The Council called for providing international protection for the Palestinian people. 
4. The Council reaffirmed its resolve to activate an urgent humanitarian aid operation to help meet the needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza. It announced immediate financial contributions of $100 Million for this relief operation. It stressed the need for this aid to reach Gaza urgently.  
5. The Council reaffirmed its support for the initiative of Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the League of Arab States to revive the Middle East peace process in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan.
6. The Council reaffirmed its position on ending Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian Territories, affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their right to establish an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international law, the Arab Peace Initiative and all relevant UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, stressing the responsibility of the International Community to deal with the Palestinian issue without double standards.  
7. The Council reiterated its position of urging the international community to take the necessary measures, within the boundaries of International law, in response to the Israeli government's illegal actions, including its policy of collective punishment it inflicts on the civilian population of Gaza and other parts of Palestinian Territories.
 
The Council concluded its meeting by urging the United Nations Security Council to implement its previous resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to adopt a new resolution to ensure Israel's compliance with international law and the United Nations Charter, and rejecting any Israeli plans or intentions to invade Gaza or other Palestinian Territories or displace their Palestinian populations.  
  
 
Issued in Muscat on Oct. 17, 2023