By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan
Abu Dhabi, Dec 7: At the 31th GCC summit concluding session the leaders once again reassured their commitments and extension of humanitarian assistance to the government and people of Pakistan. They also appealed to international community to support the people of Pakistan in order to alleviate their sufferings caused by the recent deadly flood in the country.
They spelled out different laws, regulations and strategies to achieve the desired goals of the GCC formation. They stressed the need to have closed cooperation in the fields of security, defence/military, intelligence information sharing, and the last but not the least peaceful nuclear energy cooperation among the GCC states. They reaffirmed their commitments to be transparent, open and fair to international regulatory bodies i.e. IAEA for the implementation and execution of their peaceful nuclear energy programs in the region. The leaders emphasized the importance of having joint defence/military cooperation and mechanism in all the GCC states in order to prepare themselves for any geo-strategic threats.
They also emphasized the importance of socio-economic development not confined only to heath, education, environment, climate change, water conservation and employment generation. They also reviewed the importance of certain specifications and standards in each field of the regional national economies respectively.
In the concluding statement the leaders of the GCC states showed their deep concerns about the emerging geo-political and geo-strategic scenarios in Arab Gulf and the Middle East and chalked out their short and long term policy initiatives to manage them successfully.
The GCC concluding statement also mentioned the different useful proposals of the participating states and discussed thoroughly their collective benefits. They featured the importance of infrastructure and approved the mega projects of railways, electrification, trade & commerce, science and technology and cultural cooperation and collaboration among the GCC states.
They showed deep concerns about the terrorism, extremism and violence and proposed certain effective policy tools to combat terrorism by enhancing capacity building measures, information sharing, training, technological innovation, and moreover, establishment of international anti-terrorist center. They also emphasized the need to further strengthening of inter-faith harmony and continued dialogue between the civilizations in order to make better understanding about the diversified cultures and religions.
They focused on the industrialization and best utilization of available human resources in the GCC states. The leaders discussed GCC-EU socio-economic bilateral relations and prospects of having free trade agreement with it.
The GCC concluding statement also spelled out the importance of maritime piracy and stressed the need to have mutual naval cooperation among the GCC states.
The important geo-political regional issues were also featured in the concluding statement of the 31th GCC Summit. They condemned the continued occupation of three UAE islands i.e. The Greater Tunb, The Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa by Iran and demanded the return of these islands under its full sovereignty, including their regional waters, airspace, continental shelf and their exclusive economic zone, as integral parts of the United Arab Emirates. He called upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the peaceful and sincere initiatives of the United Arab Emirates, which call for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct and serious negotiations between the two countries or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and provisions of international law.
They reiterated their principled position which calls for making the Gulf Region and the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. They called upon Israel to implement the resolution adopted by Parties of the Treaty to join the NPT unconditionally. They also urged Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and the international community in order to assuage regional and international fears and doubts raised on its nuclear program.
The GCC leaders reassured their countries commitments for the progress and prosperity of the people of Iraq through comprehensive national reconciliation without any discrimination. They also reiterated the necessity to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence of Iraq, and furthermore, safeguarding its Arab and Islamic identity.
On the issue of Palestine- Israel issue the leaders stressed the need to have peaceful resolution of the issue by ending the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian and other Arab Territories and its withdrawal to the line of 4 June 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied territories in Southern Lebanon, in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy. They pledged the GCC states support to the Palestinian National Authority and its people. They also demanded the stop of Israel settlement policy which caused many dimensional repercussions in the region.
The GCC declared their states support to the efforts of the Lebanese government towards achieving security, stability and national unity and called for respecting the sovereignty of the Lebanese state and for ceasing the repeated Israeli violations of the Lebanese airspace, waters, territories and regional safety in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 1701.
On the issue of Yemen they showed their commitments towards the security and stability of Yemen and its territorial integrity and safety. They urged the international community to stand by the government of Yemen and extend to it the necessary assistance and support.