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MENAFN - Arab Times - 16/02/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab Times) Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al- Zayani has affirmed that the GCC Supreme Council "has tackled Kuwait's reservation regarding some terms of the GCC Security Pact, in harmony with the Kuwaiti laws and legislations." Al-Zayani, in an exclusive interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), said the treaty, which had been proposed a long time ago, would "contribute to coordination among the GCC police and security apparatuses and bolster joint security effort" among the Council countries. "Joint GCC action is governed by certain strategies and accords "that regulate the work, and help in realizing the aspired integration (of the member states) at the economic, security and defense levels," he said. Consultations are proceeding among the Council members regarding establishment of the GCC federation "which has drawn applause on part of the (top) leaders," Al-Zayahi said, adding that result of the final consultations would be referred to the top leaders at the Riyadh summit. Al-Zayani indicated that the GCC is important for the regional stability, particularly in shadow of current surrounding disturbances, noting "the sagacious policy it adopts" towards these dramatic events. GCC states' external policies are based on non-intervention in the others' domestic affairs, renunciation of violence, resolving disputes with peaceful means, according to international laws, and clearing the region of weapons of mass destruction

Regarding the GCC role toward the regional developments, he said the council had given support to Yemen, through the GCC Initiative, affirming that due to this initiative, as well as wisdom of the Yemeni leaders, the nation has been spared being mired in a civil war. Yemen has passed a crucial stage in implementation of the initiative and its executive mechanisms after concord was reached on the document, released by the national dialogue convention, he said, expressing hope that the country would succeed in restoring stability and development. On Syria, he said the crisis file is in the hands of the Arab League, and reaching a solution to the problem rests with the international community, namely the United Nations Security Council, stressing on necessity of taking effective steps to resolve it and halt the bloodshed. He expressed regret for the heartbreaking events in Syria and hoped the Geneva conciliation talks would end up with peaceful solutions; at least by securing safe corridors for the stranded civilians


On Iran, Al-Zayani called on Teran "to translate its rhetoric into facts and express good intentions toward the regional states." He also urged it to stop meddling in internal affairs of other countries, pull its forces from Syria and end its occupation of the UAE islands "so that it could address positive signals of its desire to ensure the region security and stability." The GCC has repeatedly urged Iran to withdraw from the UAE islands; Abu Moussa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs, which it occupied in 70s of the past century. As to the international accord regarding the Iranian nuclear file, he affirmed that the GCC states welcome the agreement noting that this file is not only linked to the military aspects but also to security and safety issues

Affirming the GCC countries concerns due to the controversial safety of the Iranian nuclear installations, he expressed hope that the accord between Iran and the super powers would help in assuring the GCC countries. He also hoped Iran would join the international nuclear safety conventions. Turning to Lebanon, the GCC chief held Hezbollah responsible for the country security deterioration, affirming that the organization intervention in neighboring Syria drew problems to the country. He affirmed the Palestinian cause would remain the core issue at the regional level and expressed gratitude to US Secretary of State John Kerry for the efforts he has been exerting to try resolve it. The United States is a great power and has interests in the region, thus it must play an effective and strategic role to resolve the regional crises, the GCC secretary general affirmed. With respect of Egypt, Al-Zayani said its security is crucial to all regional countries hoping the "road map" would be fruitful and help the nation restore its regional leading role.

Asked whether the GCC holds contacts with the Iraqi government, Al-Zayani indicated that Baghdad is in touch with some of the Council member countries. Whether the GCC would support Djibouti, he affirmed such an approach at the security and development levels. Last week's visit by the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al- Sabah, to Djibouti, on behalf of the GCC, was intended to "specify the mechanism to execute the Gulf support for Djibouti." The GCC, at the GCC summit held in Kuwait last December, allocated USD 200 million to fund development ventures in Djibouti. He praised Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, in his capacity as the chairman of the current GCC session, for the efforts he had exerted at various levels, namely his missions to China and Djibouti


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