GCC countries call for economic unity, comprehensive cooperation in 42nd summit

Ahram Online , Wednesday 15 Dec 2021

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows (L to R) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Nayef al-Hajraf, Kuwait s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Qatar s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Oman s Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmud Al-Said, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bahrain s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and the UAE s Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum posing for a family photo during the GCC summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 14, 2021.AFP

Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) affirmed the importance of the accurate and continuous implementation of the vision of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the completion of the components of economic unity as well as the joint defence and security system to enhance the solidarity and stability of GCC countries.

On Tuesday evening, the committee of the 42nd summit of GCC countries, convening in Riyadh, affirmed its adherence to Article 2 of the Joint Defence Agreement, which states that GCC member states consider any attack against a GCC state an attack on all of them. They asserted the GCC member states' commitment to collective action against all threats and challenges.

GCC leaders stressed the importance of concerted efforts to coordinate and integrate the foreign policies of member states to crystallise a unified and effective foreign policy that serves the aspirations of the peoples of GCC countries.

They affirmed the necessity of enhancing cooperation and coordinating plans aimed at achieving sustainability and dealing with climate change and its effects and promoting joint action among GCC countries to implement the circular carbon economy approach which was launched by Saudi Arabia during its presidency of the G20. 

The leaders stressed the need for continued cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and other pandemics and developing effective policies and strategies to deal with health emergencies and address their economic and social repercussions as well as travel and movement between GCC member states.

The GCC members emphasised the importance of enhancing joint action towards digital transformation and modern technologies, boosting cooperation and building alliances in the field of cyber and information security in line with the aspirations of GCC member states, supporting the role of youth, the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises in the growth of economic diversification and digital transformation, and encouraging partnerships, projects, and initiatives in this field.

In addition, the council affirmed the completion of the remaining steps for the establishment of the customs union and the full implementation of the tracks of the Gulf common market, leading to economic unity among GCC states by 2025.

The council noted its respect for the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in other countries’ internal affairs. It also renewed its firm stance regarding the rejection of terrorism and extremism. 

The council rejected the continued Iranian interference in the internal affairs of GCC countries and in the region, stressing the need to stop supporting and financing terrorist groups and organisations that fuel these conflicts.

The council said it supports the legitimate government in Yemen, represented by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to end the Yemeni crisis and reach a political solution.

The council finally welcomed holding its 43rd session under Oman’s presidency.

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