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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Gulf leaders in 39th GCC Summit
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 09 - 12 - 2018

Chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Gulf Cooperation Council leaders held the 39th session of the GCC's Supreme Council today in the Diriyah Palace.
The opening session began with verses from the Holy Quran.
King Salman delivered the following speech:
"Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to your second home, Saudi Arabia. In response to the wishes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts the 39th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council. I send my best wishes to His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos, asking God Almighty to reward the Sultanate of Oman for presiding over the last Summit.
I also extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, for his efforts in presiding over the work of the last session. Our thanks to His Excellency the Secretary-General and to the Secretariat staff for their efforts in the follow-up and preparation work of the Council.
Your Highnesses, Excellencies,
The Gulf Cooperation Council was established in order to enhance the security, stability, development, prosperity and well-being of its member countries' citizens. I am confident that we are all keen to preserve this entity and to strengthen its role in the present and future.
God has blessed our nations with human and natural resources that have strengthened their cultural role in the region and around the world. This requires us all to harness our energies in order to serve the people of the Council and to maintain the security and stability of our countries as well as the region.
Our region is undergoing challenges and threats that are obvious to you. Extremist and terrorist forces continue to threaten Gulf and Arab security. The Iranian regime continues to pursue its hostile policies in sponsoring these forces and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. This requires all of us to preserve the gains of our countries, to work with our partners in order to maintain security and stability in the region and the world, and to insist on the need to achieve full and adequate guarantees on Iran's nuclear program and its ballistic missile development program.
Your Highnesses, Excellencies,
The Kingdom continues to defend Arab and Islamic interests in international forums. The Palestinian cause is at the forefront of its concerns and it seeks to achieve the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibilities by taking the necessary measures to protect the Palestinian people from Israel's aggressive practices which are provocation to the sentiments of Arabs and Muslims and to those of all peace-loving people.
At the request of the legitimate government in Yemen, Coalition countries were keen to offer support to the country and its people against a group that has turned against its government's legitimacy and deliberately threatens its security and stability. The Coalition also worked to restore hope for the Yemeni people through relief and humanitarian assistance programs. Coalition countries continue supporting the efforts aiming to reach a political solution for the Yemeni crisis in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative, its Mechanisms of Implementation, and the outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue.
The Kingdom calls for a political solution that will deliver Syria out of its crisis and contribute to the establishment of a transitional government that guarantees Syrian unity and the withdrawal of foreign forces and terrorist organizations. The Kingdom is also keen to build strong and strategic relations with Iraq, whose stability is a cornerstone of Arab security.
In conclusion, I would like to renew my welcome to all of you, wishing that the Almighty may crown the work of this summit with success."
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait and president of the previous session, delivered a speech in which he expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to King Salman, for the generous initiative in hosting the 39th session and for the warm welcome and good preparation for this important meeting.
His Highness said, "On the occasion of this session, which coincides with the anniversary of King Salman's ascension to the Saudi throne, I extend my sincere congratulations, asking God to provide him with the health and fortitude to continue efforts towards the increased prosperity of the Kingdom."
His Highness added: "The convening of this session, despite difficult circumstances, confirms our commitment to the GCC and to the continuation of its sessions. It also reflects our understanding of the achievements we have made within its framework and our dedication to preserving these achievements in response to the aspirations of the people of the GCC. In this regard, a number of ministerial committees have held meetings over the past year affirming the vitality and effectiveness of the process of cooperation among the GCC States in all areas. The outcomes of these meetings are submitted today to your Council for approval."
His Highness continued: "We are aware of the situation in our region, the serious challenges it faces, and the alarming escalations that calls for us to draw on our unity and to strengthen our collaboration. Perhaps the most serious challenges we face today are related to the disputes which had befallen Gulf States and which persist today. We face a serious threat to the unity of our position and to the interests of the people of our countries. Unfortunately, the world is beginning to see us as a shaken entity whose interests no longer enjoy the guarantees provided at times of unity and cohesion. As we speak of the challenges we face, we must emphasize our concern about the growing phenomenon of terrorism and our condemnation of it, stressing the need to combine our efforts to confront it and rid the world of its evils."
His highness added, "Based on our eagerness to preserve the Gulf's unified position and in order to put an end to threats to this unity and to ambiguities about the future of our work, we call for the cessation of media campaigns offending our values and principles and planting the seeds of strife and discord among our peoples threatening to destroy everything we have built."
In his address, the Emir of Kuwait said, "I am certain that we all appreciate the importance of responding positively to the invitation to end these media campaigns as a step towards fostering an environment which enhances our chances of containing the repercussions of our current disagreements".
He added, "the continued conflict in Yemen poses a direct threat to all of us and we hope that the political consultations taking place in Sweden now, and to which Kuwait has provided logistical support, will reach the anticipated political solution based on the Initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Implementation Mechanism as well as the outcomes of national dialogue and Security Council Resolution 2216, thanking friends in Sweden for their patronage of these consultations and their efforts in providing favorable circumstances towards their success."
The Emir also praised the efforts of the international community in support of these consultations, as well as the immense humanitarian assistance being offered to alleviate the dire humanitarian conditions in Yemen.
The emir of Kuwait also cautioned that the humanitarian crisis in Syria has not ended and that international efforts have not yet succeeded in resolving it nor in ending the suffering of the Syrian people posing an increased threat to security and stability in the region and around the world. He wished the new UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Pedersen, every success in his new mission to reach the anticipated political solution based on international resolutions and Geneva, appreciating the efforts made by his predecessor, Mr. Stefan de Mistura.
His Highness congratulated Iraq on its positive political developments towards selecting the three leaderships, expressing his hopes that the country's reconstruction will counter the devastation that the country has witnessed and achieve its people's aspirations for security, stability and prosperity.
On the unfortunate stalemate in the peace process neglected by the international community, HH emphasized GCC States' keenness to accelerate the resumption of the peace process in order to achieve a comprehensive and durable peace agreement in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative towards stability in the region and the world. He also stressed the importance of fostering positive relations with Iran based on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations particularly concerning the principles of non-interference in internal affairs, respect for states' sovereignty and observance of the rules of good-neighbourliness, in order to achieve the security, stability and peace for which the region aspires.
In his speech, Secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for hosting the meeting and for his endeavors in consolidating cohesion and solidarity among GCC States and deepening multilateral relations among their peoples.
He congratulated King Slaman on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his ascension to the Saudi throne wishing him every success in realizing his plans for comprehensive development in the Kingdom, and thanked the Emir of Kuwait, for his distinguished presidency of the thirty-eighth session of the Council, and his government's commitment and generous efforts toward Gulf joint action. Dr Al Zayani also congratulated Sultan Qaboos, his Government and the people of Oman on assuming presidency of the Council's current session, and the King of Bahrain on the success of the parliamentary and municipal elections of 2018.
The Secretary-General noted that regional circumstances and challenges require greater solidarity and cohesion on the part of all GCC States, and a great deal of hard work to enhance coordination, complementarity and cohesion among them. In closing, H.E. recognized the achievements of the Council at various levels and expressed his optimism about its future as a cohesive and solid entity based on deep bonds, common interests, and a commitment to the security, stability, and welfare of its member states and their peoples.
23:25 LOCAL TIME 20:25 GMT

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