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  Statement issued by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council in its 160th session

General Secretariat - Doha

The Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held its 160th session on Sunday, 3 Dhu al-Hijjah 1445 H, corresponding to June 9, 2024, in Doha, headed by His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, President of the current session.

 

The Ministerial Council was attended by Their Highnesses and Excellencies:

His Excellency Mr Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar

Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates

 

His Excellency Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain

 

His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah Al Saud

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi

Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman

 

His Excellency Mr Abdullah Ali Abdullah Al Yahya

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait

 

And His Excellency Mr Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi

Secretary General of the GCC

 

The meeting issued the following statement:

1. The Ministerial Council expressed its sincere condolences to the Islamic Republic of Iran on the demise of His Excellency the President, Dr Ebrahim Raisi, and His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and their companions in the presidential plane crash, praying to Allah the Almighty to shower them with His vast mercy and forgiveness.

2. The Council expressed its sincere condolences to the leadership, government and people of the Sultanate of Oman for the victims of the heavy and torrential rains that swept the state of Al Mudhaibi, praying to Allah the Almighty to shower them with His vast mercy and dwell them in His spacious paradise and to bestow patience on their families and loved ones.

3. The Ministerial Council congratulated His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, on the Kingdom's assumption of the presidency of the Arab Summit at its 33rd session, held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on May 16, 2024, appreciating the Kingdom's efforts in the distinguished preparation for the summit, and the results and the constructive results and decisions it achieved to enhance the process of joint Arab action.

4. The Ministerial Council welcomed the contents of the international conference held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, organised by the Muslim World League in Mecca under the title "Building Bridges between Islamic Schools of Thought and Sects" on March 17-18, 2024.

 

5. The Ministerial Council expressed its congratulations on the occasion of the issuance of the Amiri order by His Highness Shaikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Emir of the State of Kuwait, appointing His Highness Shaikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Mubarak Al Sabah as Crown Prince, wishing His Highness the Crown Prince success and prosperity and the State of Kuwait continued success, progress and prosperity.

6. The Ministerial Council praised the success of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in hosting the special meeting of the World Economic Forum, under the slogan "Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development" on April 28-29, 2024, to discuss global economic issues and developments, and confront humanitarian, climate and economic challenges.

7. The Ministerial Council praised the success of the State of Qatar in hosting the fourth edition of the Qatar Economic Forum on May 14-16, 2024, to discuss economic challenges and opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region.

8. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the second ministerial meeting of the Zero Neutrality Forum for Producers with the participation of the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar, the United States of America, Norway, and Canada on May 15, 2024, which was held in the city of Riyadh, praising the efforts made by member states in the field of managing Carbon and methane emissions reduction, to achieve zero neutrality goals by applying a carbon circular economy approach to clean energy transition.

9. The Ministerial Council blessed the launch of the Gulf Cooperation Council's vision for regional security, which aims to preserve the stability of the region, the prosperity of its countries and peoples, and enhance international peace and security.

The Ministerial Council reviewed developments in joint Gulf action and developments in political issues regionally and internationally, as follows:

 

Strengthening Joint Gulf Action:

10. The Ministerial Council reviewed the efforts made by the committees working within the framework of the GCC to implement the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with regards to strengthening joint Gulf action, which was approved by the Supreme Council at its 36th session in December 2015, directing to swiftly implement and complete it.

11. The Ministerial Council affirmed the continued strengthening of cooperation and integration among member states in order to implement the decisions of the Supreme Council regarding finalising the requirements for completing the Customs Union by the end of 2024, and implementing complete equality of treatment among citizens of the Cooperation Council countries in the areas of the GCC common market.

12. The Ministerial Council reviewed the results of the first meeting of the Financial Investigations Committee, which included the committee's objectives and powers.

 

13. The Ministerial Council approved the Real Estate Stimulus Guide in the GCC countries, and the Guide to Evaluating the Resilience of Cities in the Field of Housing in the GCC Countries, as two guidelines.

The Situation in Gaza:

14. The Ministerial Council condemned the continued Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, stressing that the GCC stands by the brotherly Palestinian people during the current developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire and halt of Israeli military operations, and ensuring the secure access of all humanitarian and relief aid and basic needs to the residents of Gaza.

15. The Ministerial Council holds Israel legally responsible before the international community for its ongoing violations and attacks against innocent civilians, which resulted in the killing of thousands of civilians in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children, in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, stressing the importance of ending the siege imposed on the Strip and to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, and calling on the international community to take a serious and resolute stance to provide protection for civilians in the Gaza Strip.

16. The Ministerial Council welcomed the decisions of the League of Arab States Council at the summit level in its 33rd regular session hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the declaration issued by the summit (Bahrain Declaration), and the statement of Arab leaders at the Bahrain Summit on the aggression against Gaza.

17. The Ministerial Council stressed the importance of continuing the work of the ministerial committee formed by the extraordinary joint Arab and Islamic summit in its efforts to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and to promote international efforts to support the State of Palestine in gaining recognition from more countries worldwide and obtaining full membership in the United Nations, and organising an international peace conference. The Council commended the Committee's meetings with the President of the European Council, the French President, and the Spanish Prime Minister. It also welcomed the statement issued by the meeting held by the Committee with foreign ministers of European countries on May 26, 2024, in Brussels, which was a continuation of the Riyadh meeting on April 29, 2024, and its emphasis on the importance of transforming the conflict into a political path to reach a final and rapid political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and taking irreversible steps to implement the two-state solution in line with international law and agreed-upon standards. The Ministerial Council also stressed the need to intensify efforts to build and support the Palestinian state politically and financially, on the basis of transparency and in accordance with agreed-upon mechanisms. Furthermore, it emphasised the importance of having a single Palestinian government in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

18. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the consultative ministerial meeting of the Arab Six-Party Group, which was hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on April 27, 2024, with the participation of the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the State of Palestine, which stressed the necessity of ending the war on Gaza Strip and reaching an immediate and complete ceasefire and ensuring the protection of civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law, and the importance of taking irreversible steps to implement the two-state solution and recognise the State of Palestine.

 

19. The Ministerial Council called on the Security Council to take a binding decision under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter that guarantees the Israeli occupation forces' compliance with the immediate ceasefire and to halt the genocide against the Palestinian people and their forcible displacement, and the entry of humanitarian aid and the return of life to normal in the Gaza Strip, calling on the Security Council to implement its previous decisions for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

20. The Ministerial Council stressed the need for Israel to comply with Security Council Resolutions No. 2728, No. 2712, and No. 2720, stressing the need to expand the scope of the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians in the entire Gaza Strip, and to enhance their protection and lift all barriers that prevent the provision of humanitarian aid on a large scale.

21. The Ministerial Council welcomed the temporary precautionary measures issued by the International Court of Justice on March 28, 2024, by taking all necessary and effective measures to ensure the entry of basic food supplies into the Gaza Strip, and increasing land crossing points to facilitate the arrival of aid, which contributes to alleviating the effects of the crisis on civilians.

22. The Ministerial Council condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression against the city of Rafah, and the occupation forces' invasion of the land crossing between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and its closure to the entry of humanitarian aid to the residents of the Strip.

23. The Ministerial Council welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice dated May 24, 2024, ordering Israel to immediately stop the military attack or any other actions in the Rafah Governorate, based on the Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, and the necessity of opening the Rafah crossing for the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, and ensuring the arrival of any commission of inquiry or fact-finding into the charge of genocide.

24. The Ministerial Council welcomed the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council, on April 5, 2024, of a resolution calling on all states to "cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel" in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people, calling on all countries to stop supporting the Israeli occupation authorities in their aggression against the Palestinian people and to ban the export of weapons and ammunition used by its army and settlers to target innocent civilians.

25. The Ministerial Council called for a positive and serious response to the US President's announcement on May 31, 2024, of the agreement reached regarding the ceasefire and Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the release of hostages and detainees, the safe return of displaced persons to their homes, and the provision of adequate humanitarian aid to civilians. The Council stressed the need to build on this declaration to reach a political framework to resume negotiations in order to achieve comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, praising the efforts made by the State of Qatar and the Arab Republic of Egypt to achieve a ceasefire and stop the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.

26. The Ministerial Council condemned the targeting of humanitarian and United Nations organisations by the Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip, and the ongoing attacks by Israeli settlers on humanitarian aid convoys, stressing the responsibility of the Israeli occupation forces under international humanitarian law to protect these convoys, to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and not to obstruct the work of international organisations.

27. The Ministerial Council condemned the Israeli raid that targeted the convoy of the "World Central Kitchen" organisation, on April 1, 2024, and led to the killing of a number of relief workers in the Gaza Strip, in a systematic continuation of the crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation of international humanitarian law.

28. The Ministerial Council condemned the continued destruction by Israeli forces of residential neighbourhoods, hospitals, schools, universities, mosques, churches and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including the targeting of Palestinian displaced camps in "Tal al-Sultan", west of Rafah, in a brutal raid on May 26, 2024, resulting in the death of more than 45 civilians and hundreds were injured, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.

29. The Ministerial Council expressed its support for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land, warned against any attempts to displace them, and condemned the forced displacement of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

30. The Ministerial Council expressed its rejection of any justifications and pretexts for the continued Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and called on the international community to take the necessary measures, within the framework of international law, to respond to the practices of the Israeli government and the policy of collective punishment it pursues against the unarmed Gaza residents, and the Palestinian people.

31. The Ministerial Council called for the provision of international protection for the Palestinian people, demanding the protection of civilians, refraining from targeting them, and complying with and adhering to international law and international humanitarian law.

32. The Ministerial Council noted the efforts made by the GCC countries and the Arab countries at the political level to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian and relief assistance provided by the GCC countries to the Gaza Strip, and the popular campaigns to rescue the Palestinian people and introduce humanitarian aid to the besieged residents.

33. The Ministerial Council welcomed the convening of the International Conference for the Emergency Humanitarian Response in Gaza, organised jointly by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt, in Jordan on June 11, 2024.

The Palestinian Cause:

34. The Ministerial Council affirmed its firm positions on the centrality of the Palestinian cause, ending the Israeli occupation, and its support for the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over all the Palestinian territories occupied since June 1967. The Council called on all countries to complete the procedures for their recognition of the State of Palestine, and to take urgent collective action to achieve a permanent solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, with the aim of saving the Palestinian people from the suffering of destitution, genocide and human tragedy, and ensuring the return of refugees, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and international legitimacy resolutions, stressing the need to redouble the efforts of the international community to resolve the conflict, in a way that fulfils all the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people in accordance with those foundations, and the swift issuance of a resolution by the Security Council to complete international recognition of the independent State of Palestine and obtain full membership in the United Nations.

35. The Ministerial Council welcomed the initiatives announced by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, calling for an international peace conference in the Middle East to establish a national, independent, secure, and sovereign Palestinian state, and supporting efforts to recognise the Palestinian state at the international level and accept its full membership in the United Nations.

36. The Ministerial Council welcomed the positive decisions taken by the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Ireland and the Republic of Slovenia to recognise the State of Palestine, and urged the rest of the countries to take the same step, as this has a positive impact on peace efforts, reaching a final solution to the conflict, and achieving the two-state solution through the establishment of the Palestinian state.

 

37. The Ministerial Council affirmed the call of the Arab Summit at its 33rd session to deploy international protection and peacekeeping forces of the United Nations in the occupied Palestinian territory until the two-state solution is implemented.

38. The Ministerial Council expressed deep regret at the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution accepting full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

39. The Ministerial Council welcomed the decision of the United Nations General Assembly dated May 9, 2024, that the State of Palestine qualifies for full membership in the United Nations in accordance with Article 4 of its Charter, and called on the Security Council to positively reconsider completing the procedures for the State of Palestine's membership in the organisation.

40. The Ministerial Council stressed the importance of holding an urgent international conference that brings together the parties and leads to fulfilling the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

41. The Ministerial Council called on the international community to intervene to stop targeting the Palestinian presence in the city of Jerusalem, the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, attempts to change its legal character, demographic composition and the arrangements for Islamic holy places, and attempts to impose Israeli sovereignty over them in clear violation of international law, international resolutions and existing agreements concluded in this regard, stressing the need to avoid unilateral measures.

42. The Ministerial Council affirmed its support for the initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the League of Arab States to revive the peace process in the Middle East with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

43. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the report issued on April 22, 2024, by the independent committee on the performance of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), stressing the agency's main role in supporting relief, humanitarian and development efforts for the Palestinian people. The Council condemned Israel's attempts to undermine the efforts of UNRWA by describing it as terrorism, with the aim of lifting the immunity of its employees and targeting them.

44. The Ministerial Council stressed the importance of increasing the international community's support for UNRWA in light of the critical humanitarian conditions, stressing the importance of the agency continuing to perform its tasks in a way that ensures the provision of basic requirements for the Palestinians, to mitigate the effects of the humanitarian crisis taking place in occupied Palestine, and noting the generous aid and support provided by the GCC countries to the agency's activities.

45. The Ministerial Council condemned the attacks by Israeli settlers on the headquarters of UNRWA, in occupied Jerusalem, under the supervision of the Israeli occupation police, and held the Israeli occupation responsible for repeating these crimes committed against civilians and workers in humanitarian and relief organisations.

46. The Ministerial Council condemned the repeated incursions by settlers and Israeli officials into the courtyards of the Al Aqsa Mosque, in a serious violation of international law and the existing historical and legal situation in Jerusalem and its holy sites, a violation of the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims, and stressed that the continued violations and attacks on the holy sites exacerbate tension and pushes the situation into a continuous cycle of violence.

47. The Ministerial Council expressed its rejection of any tendency to annex settlements in the West Bank to Israel, in clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law, and United Nations resolutions, including Security Council Resolution No. 2334 of 2016, the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 2004, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. The Council also condemned Israel's continued construction of settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories, and called on the international community to put pressure on the Israeli authorities to reverse their settlement decisions that violate international laws and resolutions.

48. The Ministerial Council condemned the Israeli occupation's approval, on March 6, 2024, of building about 3,500 new settlement units in the West Bank, and the attempt to Judaize large parts of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in contravention of all international resolutions, international human rights law, and United Nations charters, and preventing the achievement of opportunities for peace and stability.

49. The Ministerial Council condemned the Israeli occupation's announcement on March 27, 2024, of the confiscation of lands amounting to 8,000 dunums from the Jordan Valley area in the occupied Palestinian territories, in flagrant violation of international laws and relevant resolutions, and an extension of settlement operations, displacement of the Palestinian people, and deprivation of their rights.

50. The Ministerial Council appreciated the efforts made by Arab countries to achieve national reconciliation to restore Palestinian national unity and achieve the interests of the Palestinian people.

Iran's Occupation of the Three Islands of the United Arab Emirates:

51. The Ministerial Council affirmed its firm positions and previous decisions regarding condemning Iran's continued occupation of the three islands Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa belonging to the United Arab Emirates, reiterating the following:

a. Supporting the right of sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and over the territorial waters, air territory, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone of the three islands, as they are an integral part of the territory of the United Arab Emirates.

b. Considering that any decisions, practices or actions undertaken by Iran on the three islands are null and void and do not change any of the historical and legal facts that unanimously agree on the right of the United Arab Emirates' sovereignty over its three islands.

C. Calling on Iran to respond to the efforts of the United Arab Emirates to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or resorting to the International Court of Justice.

 

52. The Ministerial Council condemned the Iranian government's continued construction of residential facilities to settle Iranians on the three Emirati islands occupied by Iran, and the escalatory positions and measures taken by the Iranian authority, including statements issued by the late Iranian President on February 4, 2024, during a Cabinet meeting on Iran's industrial endeavours on the islands, in addition to statements by Mohammad Mokhber, First Vice President of Iran, on January 11, 2024, on the completion of what he called the Three Islands Development Document and what this includes in terms of building facilities and housing projects on the three Emirati islands.

53. The Ministerial Council condemned the Iranian military manoeuvres that include the three occupied islands of the United Arab Emirates, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, and the territorial waters, air territory, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone of the three islands as they are an integral part of the territory of the United Arab Emirates, the last of which was Iranian military naval manoeuvres and the implementation of combat exercises on the three occupied Emirati islands on August 1, 2023, and asking Iran to cease such violations and provocative actions that constitute interference in the internal affairs of an independent and sovereign state, do not help build confidence, and endanger the security and safety of regional and international navigation in the Arabian Gulf.

54. The Ministerial Council condemned the repeated visits by senior Iranian officials to the three occupied Emirati islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, the most recent of which was the visit of Ali Akbar Safaei, CEO of the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organisation and members of the Abu Musa Island Council on May 8, 2024, to inspect Iranian strategic projects.

 

Al Durra Field:

55. The Ministerial Council affirmed that the entire Al Durra field is located in the marine areas of the State of Kuwait, and that ownership of the natural resources in the divided submerged zone adjacent to the Saudi-Kuwaiti divided zone, including the entire Al Durra field, is jointly owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait and they alone have full rights to exploit the natural resources in that region, in accordance with the provisions of international law and based on the agreements concluded and in force between them, affirming categorical rejection of any allegations of the existence of rights of any other party in this field or the submerged area adjacent to the area divided by its specific borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait.

Combating Terrorism and Extremism:
56. The Ministerial Council emphasised its firm positions and decisions towards terrorism and extremism, regardless of their source, rejecting all its forms and manifestations, and rejecting its motives and justifications, working to dry up its sources of financing, and supporting international efforts to combat terrorism, stressing that tolerance and coexistence between nations and peoples are among the most important principles and values on which the societies of the Council states were built, and their dealing with other peoples.

57. The Ministerial Council condemned all terrorist acts, emphasising the sanctity of the shedding of blood and the violation of civilians and civilian facilities such as schools, places of worship, and hospitals, stressing the importance of international and regional coordination to confront terrorist groups and sectarian militias that threaten security and undermine stability.

58. The Ministerial Council underscored the significance of strengthening the relations of the Cooperation Council with the brotherly and friendly states, and working with regional and international organisations to combat the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism and its serious effects and repercussions on the region and its threat to international peace and security.

59. The Ministerial Council condemned the terrorist attack that targeted a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on March 15, 2024.

60. The Ministerial Council condemned the armed terrorist attack that occurred in the Croix City Hall in the Russian capital Moscow on March 22, 2024.


61. The Ministerial Council condemned the terrorist attack that targeted the Khor Mor gas field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on April 26, 2024.

62. The Ministerial Council condemned the continued foreign support for terrorist groups and sectarian militias in the Middle East region, which threaten Arab national security, undermine stability in the region, and impede international efforts to combat terrorism, particularly the efforts of the international coalition to fight ISIS.

63. The Ministerial Council welcomed the unanimous adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution on "Measures to Combat Islamophobia" on March 15, 2024, and the appointment of a UN Special Envoy to combat Islamophobia. The Council emphasised the importance of entrenching the values of dialogue and respect between peoples and cultures, and rejecting anything that would spread religious hatred and extremism. It called for concerted international efforts to promote these principles in all societies and spread a culture of religious tolerance, dialogue, and coexistence. Furthermore, the Council condemned offensive statements against Islam, Muslims, and Islamic civilization, stressing the importance of confronting all manifestations of hatred, intolerance, and negative stereotyping that distort the image of religions.

64. The Ministerial Council called for deterrent measures to combat extremism, hate speech, and incitement, and to condemn these acts wherever they occur, given their negative impact on social peace and the sustainability of international peace and security, and their encouragement of the spread, escalation, and recurrence of conflicts around the world, and the undermining of security and stability, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2686 (2023) issued on June 14, 2023. It also called on all states to advance the agenda of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, human brotherhood, and the rejection of hatred, sectarianism, intolerance, discrimination, and extremism in all its forms.

 

Iran:
65. The Ministerial Council reaffirmed its standing positions and decisions regarding relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, emphasising the necessity of its commitment to the basic principles and foundations based on the United Nations Charter, international law instruments, principles of good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes, renunciation of the use of force or threat thereof, and rejection of sectarianism.

66. The Ministerial Council expressed the concern of the GCC states over the developments in the Iranian nuclear file, emphasising the importance of Iran's commitment not to exceed the uranium enrichment levels required for peaceful uses, and the necessity of fulfilling its obligations and full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

67. The Ministerial Council condemned the targeting of the Iranian Consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1, 2024, and expressed its rejection of the targeting of diplomatic facilities, in violation of international diplomatic laws and rules of diplomatic immunity, and expressed its grave concern over the military escalation in the Middle East region and its negative impact on regional security and stability, stressing the importance of de-escalation to maintain the security and stability of the region, diplomatic resolution of disputes, and the highest degree of self-restraint to spare the region and its peoples the risks of wars.

68. The Ministerial Council underscored the importance of accelerating the reaching of constructive understandings between Iran and the concerned countries regarding the nuclear file in order to maintain the security and stability of the region, underlining the readiness of the Council countries to cooperate and deal effectively with the Iranian nuclear file, and participate in all negotiations, discussions and regional and international meetings in this regard. The Ministerial Council underlined that these negotiations should include, in addition to the Iranian nuclear programme, all the security concerns of the GCC countries, including ballistic and cruise missiles and drones, the safety of international navigation and oil facilities, in a way that contributes to achieving common goals and interests within the framework of respecting the sovereignty of states, the principles of good neighborliness, and commitment to UN resolutions and international legitimacy to ensure the enhancement of regional and international security and stability.

69. The Ministerial Council stressed the importance of maintaining maritime security and waterways in the region, and confronting activities that threaten the security and stability of the region and the world, including targeting commercial vessels, threatening maritime navigation and international trade, and oil facilities in the Council states.



 

Yemen:
70. The Ministerial Council stressed the full support for the Presidential Leadership Council chaired by His Excellency Dr Rashad Mohammed Al Alimi, and the supporting entities to it to achieve security and stability in Yemen, to reach a comprehensive political solution, in accordance with the GCC Initiative and its executive mechanism, and the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference, and Security Council Resolution 2216, in a manner that preserves the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and independence of the brotherly Yemen.


71. The Ministerial Council welcomed the continued sincere efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman, and the ongoing contacts with all Yemeni parties to revive the political process, leading to the achievement of a comprehensive and sustainable political solution in Yemen, and the necessity of ceasing hostilities, as well as the importance of the Houthis engaging positively with the international and UN efforts aimed at ending the Yemeni crisis and dealing seriously with peace initiatives and efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.


72. The Ministerial Council reiterated its support for the efforts of the United Nations led by its Special Envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to reach a comprehensive political solution in accordance with the three references, and the ministers praised the Yemeni government's commitment to renewing the humanitarian truce announced by the United Nations in Yemen. The ministers also called on the Houthi group to implement all the commitments announced by the UN Envoy on December 23, 2023, regarding a set of measures including implementing a nationwide ceasefire, measures to improve living conditions in Yemen, and engagement to resume an inclusive political process under the sponsorship of the United Nations. The ministers called for taking a firm stance towards the Houthis' practices that contradict the efforts of the United Nations and the countries of the region to establish peace in Yemen.


73. The Ministerial Council expressed its deep concern over the developments of events in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and stressed the importance of de-escalating to preserve the security and stability of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and respect the right of maritime navigation in accordance with the provisions of international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982.


74. The Ministerial Council condemned the continued foreign interference in the internal affairs of Yemen, and the smuggling of military experts and weapons to the Houthi militias in clear violation of Security Council resolutions 2216, 2231, and 2624.

 

75. The Ministerial Council lauded the arrival of the ship (PS DREAM) loaded with 42,000 tons of diesel fuel to the Al Zait port in the temporary capital Aden on March 9, 2024, which represents the third grant provided by the United Arab Emirates, out of a total of 125,000 tons of diesel and 106,000 tons of fuel oil, to increase the generating capacity to contribute to the operation of power stations in the temporary capital Aden and a number of liberated governorates.

 

76. The Ministerial Council commended the achievements of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), the humanitarian support provided by the Office of Relief and Humanitarian Aid Coordination of the GCC for the Republic of Yemen, and the humanitarian and development assistance provided by all GCC states to Yemen. It also praised the development projects and vital programmes implemented by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY), which consisted of (229) development projects and initiatives in (7) key sectors: education, health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture and fisheries, and building the capacity of government institutions. In addition to the development programmes, there was financial support for the Yemeni government's budget and salaries, operating expenses, and food security in Yemen. The Council also commended the efforts of the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (Masam) which was able to remove (440,067) landmines, unexploded ordnance, and explosive devices, and clear (56,226,871) square meters of land in Yemen that were mined by the Houthi militias, causing innocent victims among children, women and the elderly.  

Iraq:
77. The Ministerial Council reaffirmed its firm positions and decisions regarding the sisterly Iraq, and supported the ongoing efforts to achieve security and stability in Iraq, stressing the importance of preserving the integrity and unity of Iraq's territory, its full sovereignty, Arab identity, social fabric, and national unity. It also expressed its support for confronting terrorist groups and armed militias to uphold state sovereignty and the rule of law.

78. The Ministerial Council commended the positive partnership between the GCC and Iraq, and stressed moving forward with the electricity interconnection project to link Iraq to the GCC power grid, to achieve greater integration and connectivity between Iraq and GCC states, in a way that serves their mutual interests and paves the way for further cooperation in the future. The Council welcomed the statement issued by the Iraqi-American Higher Committee on April 16, 2024 regarding this project.

79. The Ministerial Council condemned all terrorist operations targeting the Republic of Iraq and its civilian population and security forces. It affirmed the GCC's support for Iraq in combating terrorism and extremism, and condemned all external aggression against the Republic of Iraq. It stressed the need to respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the GCC states' united stance in support of sisterly Iraq.

 

80. The Ministerial Council underlined the importance of the Republic of Iraq respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Kuwait, and adhering to bilateral and international commitments, agreements, and all relevant United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council resolution 833 (1993) regarding the demarcation of the land and maritime borders between Kuwait and Iraq. The Ministerial Council called upon the Republic of Iraq to make serious efforts to complete the demarcation of the maritime border between the two countries beyond marine marker 162. The Ministerial Council also called on the Government of the Republic of Iraq to abide by the agreement regulating maritime navigation in the Khor Abdullah, signed between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq on 29 April 2012, which entered into force on 5 December 2013 and was jointly deposited with the United Nations on 18 December 2013. The Ministerial Council expressed its total rejection of the reasoning in the judgment of the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq on this matter, and its rejection of the historical fallacies contained in the reasoning of the judgment, considering any unilateral decisions, practices, or actions taken by the Republic of Iraq related to the Khor Abdullah agreement as null and void. Additionally, the Council rejected the unilateral Iraqi measure to cancel the implementation of the 2008 security exchange protocol and its approved map in the joint plan to ensure the safety of navigation in Khor Abdullah, signed between the two parties on 28 December 2014, which contained a clear and specific mechanism for amendment and cancellation.

81. The Ministerial Council affirmed its support for Security Council resolution 2732 (2024) and the importance of ensuring the continued follow-up by the Security Council on the developments and updates regarding the humanitarian file of Kuwaiti prisoners and missing persons, as well as the file of Kuwaiti properties, including the national archives. The Council stressed the need to maintain the umbrella of the Security Council, as stipulated in Security Council resolution 2107 (2013), which defined the framework for reporting on Kuwait-related files to the Security Council and not to other United Nations bodies, and to continue the mechanism of periodic reporting on the same issue, as this has contributed to achieving tangible positive developments in this regard. The Ministerial Council also affirmed that the fair and most appropriate alternative after the end of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) would be to appoint a high-level UN coordinator to follow up on Kuwait's humanitarian and national files, similar to the mechanism that was in place before the issuance of Security Council resolution 2107 (2013), as it is a mechanism that has been previously tested and proven successful. The Council called on the Government of Iraq to cooperate to make progress in this regard and to make the utmost effort to reach a final solution to these files.

 

Syria: 

82. The Ministerial Council reaffirmed its firm positions regarding preserving the unity of the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, respecting its independence and sovereignty over its lands, rejecting regional interventions in its internal affairs, supporting the efforts of the United Nations to reach a political solution in Syria in line with Security Council resolution 2254 and relevant UN resolutions, supporting the efforts of its special envoy for Syria (Geir Pedersen), supporting efforts to host Syrian refugees and displaced persons and work for their voluntary and safe return to Syria in accordance with international standards, and rejecting any attempts to make demographic changes in Syria.  

 

83.The Ministerial Council affirmed its support for the efforts of the Arab Ministerial Contact Group on the Syrian crisis, and the emphasis on implementing the commitments contained in the Amman Statement of May 1, 2023 and the Cairo Statement of August 15, 2023, and expressed its aspiration to resume the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. 

 

84. The Ministerial Council condemned the repeated Israeli attacks on the fraternal Syrian Arab Republic, which constitute a violation of international law and a breach of Syria's sovereignty. 

 

85. The Ministerial Council welcomed the decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to appoint an ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic.

 

Lebanon: 

 

86. The Ministerial Council affirmed the positions of the GCC in support of the brotherly Lebanese people and its continued support for the sovereignty, security and stability of Lebanon, and for the Lebanese armed forces that protect its borders and confront the threats of extremist and terrorist groups. It stressed the importance of implementing comprehensive structural political and economic reforms that ensure Lebanon overcomes its political and economic crisis, and does not become a launching point for terrorists or drug trafficking or other criminal activities that threaten the security and stability of the region, underlining the importance of the Lebanese government extending its control over all Lebanese territories, including the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Taif Agreement, so that it can exercise its full sovereignty and there are no weapons without the approval of the Lebanese government, and no authority other than its own. 

 

87. The Ministerial Council condemned the repeated Israeli violations against Lebanon, targeting civilians, paramedics and journalists, in flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. 

 

88. The Ministerial Council supported the efforts of the Quintet group on Lebanon, which emphasised the importance of accelerating the presidential elections and implementing the necessary economic reforms for the Lebanese government to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens, commending the efforts of Lebanon's friends and partners in restoring and strengthening confidence and cooperation between Lebanon and the GCC countries, and their support for the role of the Lebanese army and internal security forces in maintaining the security of Lebanon.



Sudan:
89. The Ministerial Council stressed the fixed positions and decisions of the Cooperation Council regarding the importance of preserving the sovereignty, security and stability of Sudan and the unity of its territories, and supporting Sudan in facing the developments and repercussions of the current crisis, the necessity of de-escalation, giving priority to the language of dialogue and unifying the ranks, and returning to the path of the political process leading to a civilian authority, alleviating the suffering of the brotherly Sudanese people, protecting the coherence of the national state institutions and preventing their collapse, as well as preventing the exacerbation of the conflict and confrontations between the Sudanese parties. The Council also urged the Sudanese government and the Rapid Support Forces to engage seriously and effectively with the initiatives to resolve the crisis, including the Jeddah platform and the neighboring countries.

90. The Ministerial Council underscored the importance of the commitment of the parties to the conflict in Sudan to end this conflict in light of what was agreed upon in the Jeddah Declaration signed on May 11, 2023 regarding the commitment to protect civilians, and the declaration issued on May 20, 2023 concerning the agreement on a short-term ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements within the framework of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

91. The Ministerial Council affirmed Security Council Resolution 2724 issued on March 8, 2024, which called on all parties to ensure the removal of any obstacles and enable the full, rapid, safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to abide by the Jeddah Declaration, which affirms the protection of all civilians.

92. The Ministerial Council noted the humanitarian aid and bridges provided by the GCC countries to the brotherly Sudanese people, and the assistance provided by the sisterly and friendly countries and international organisations to meet the urgent humanitarian needs.


Libya:
93. The Ministerial Council affirmed the position of the Cooperation Council in support of the sisterly State of Libya and the Libyan-Libyan political solution and the decisions of the Security Council, reiterating the keenness to preserve the interests of the Libyan people, and to achieve security, stability and development in Libya, and to ensure its sovereignty, independence and the unity of its territories, and to stop interference in its internal affairs, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces, foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libyan territories, and to support the efforts of the United Nations to reach a political solution, and to hold elections and unify the state institutions, to achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people.

94. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the meeting held at the headquarters of the League of Arab States on March 10, 2024, attended by the President of the Libyan Presidential Council, the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, and the President of the Supreme State Council, to support the political settlement aimed at holding presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya.

95. The Ministerial Council called on all parties in Libya to give priority to wisdom and reason and adopt political dialogue to resolve differences in a way that preserves Libya's supreme interests and achieves its people's aspirations for development and prosperity, underlining the position of the Council's countries in support of Libya and the political process and the relevant Security Council resolutions to preserve its security, stability and sovereignty.

 

 

Afghanistan:
96. The Ministerial Council stressed the importance of restoring security and stability in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in a way that achieves the aspirations of the brotherly Afghan people and benefits regional and international peace and security. It also emphasised the importance of ensuring women's right to education and work, protecting minorities, and ensuring that Afghan territory is not used by any terrorist groups or for the trafficking of narcotics.

97. The Ministerial Council expressed the GCC's solidarity with the Afghan people in facing the destruction caused by the devastating floods that struck the Baghlan province.

98. The Ministerial Council condemned all terrorist operations targeting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which are aimed at innocent civilians and civilian facilities such as schools, places of worship, and hospitals. It affirmed the GCC's solidarity with the Afghan people in combating terrorism in all its forms and enhancing security and stability in its territories.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis:
99. The Ministerial Council affirmed that the GCC's position on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is based on the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, preserving the international system based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, and non-interference in their internal affairs, as well as the non-use or threat of force.

100. The Ministerial Council expressed its support for the mediation efforts made by GCC countries to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, achieve a ceasefire, and resolve the crisis politically through dialogue and negotiations.

101. The Council praised the success of GCC countries in mediating the exchange of prisoners between the two parties, and the humanitarian and relief assistance provided by GCC states to Ukraine. It stressed the importance of continuing to support all efforts to facilitate the export of grains and all food and humanitarian supplies in order to contribute to ensuring food security for the affected countries.

 

Somalia:

102. The Ministerial Council affirmed the GCC's standing with the Federal Republic of Somalia in everything that would support its security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, in a way that achieves a decent life for its sisterly people.

103. The Ministerial Council welcomed the statement issued on March 7, 2024 by the first meeting of the Ministerial Working Group tasked with following up on the implementation of the League of Arab States Council resolution, and the statement issued by the second meeting of the Committee on May 14, 2024 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, regarding support for the Federal Republic of Somalia in the face of aggression against its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

104. The Ministerial Council condemned all the terrorist operations that the Federal Republic of Somalia is exposed to, and affirmed the GCC's standing with the Somali sisterly people to combat terrorism and violence.

 

Joint Ministerial Meeting between the GCC and the Republic of Yemen:

105. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the joint ministerial meeting between Their Highnesses and Excellencies the Foreign Ministers of the GCC states and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Republic of Yemen, emphasising the importance of enhancing coordination, consultation and partnership between them in all fields.

106. The Ministerial Council affirmed the follow-up on the implementation of the outcomes of the 21st meeting of the Joint Technical Committee to identify the development needs of the Republic of Yemen, in order to provide the necessary support to enable the Government of the Republic of Yemen to complete the implementation of development projects and provide basic services to the sisterly Yemeni people.

Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the GCC and the Republic of Turkey:

107. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the Sixth Joint Ministerial Meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between Their Highnesses and Excellencies the Foreign Ministers of the GCC states and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, and the extension of the Joint Action Plan to the period (2025 - 2029).

108. The Ministerial Council welcomed the results of the meetings of the joint technical working groups held within the framework of the Joint Action Plan, in the fields of energy, health, land transportation and railways, agriculture, livestock and fisheries, and food security.

 

 

 

Strengthening Partnerships with Other Countries and Groups:


109. The Ministerial Council welcomed the outcomes of the Strategic Dialogue meetings between the Cooperation Council and a number of other countries and groups, emphasising the importance of implementing the decisions and joint action plans that were agreed upon, in order to enhance the Cooperation Council's march and achieve its political and developmental goals regionally and internationally.


110. The Ministerial Council praised the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the Cooperation Council and the Central Asian countries, held in Tashkent on April 15, 2024.


111. The Ministerial Council praised the results of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the Cooperation Council and the European Union, held on April 22, 2024 in Luxembourg, and the meetings of the specialised working groups and committees within the framework of the joint work program (2022-2027).

 

112. The Ministerial Council praised the results of the joint Ministerial Meeting between the Cooperation Council and the United States, held at the General Secretariat headquarters on April 29, 2024, and the meetings of the Joint GCC-US Working Group on Maritime Security and the Joint GCC-US Working Group on Integrated Air Defense on May 22, 2024 at the General Secretariat headquarters.

 

113. The Ministerial Council was briefed on the progress of the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations between the Cooperation Council and several of its trade partners, and the efforts made to achieve the desired goals of these agreements, in accordance with the previously approved priorities.


 

Issued in Doha on Sunday, 

3 Dhu al-Hijjah 1445H corresponding to June 9, 2024