Saudi King Salman calls for GCC unity against Iran

Saudi King Salman calls for GCC unity against Iran
Saudi King Salman calls for GCC unity against Iran

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Arabia has called for unity between the six Gulf Co-operation Council members against a hostile Iran.

King Salman made the comments as he addressed GCC leaders at the opening of the 40th GCC summit in Riyadh's Al Daraya Palace.

“The Iranian regime has continued its aggressive policies in the region that undermine the stability of neighboring countries,” said King Salman.

King Salman also said GCC nations need to secure themselves against missile attacks from hostile forces, but praised the group's ability to overcome crises in the region.

He also pressed the wider international community to take measures to ensure maritime security and energy supplies were secured.

King Salman stressed that the 40th GCC meeting was held in Riyadh at the request of the UAE, calling for a closed session of the GCC leaders, to take place shortly after the opening speeches.

“The region is going through many challenges that require a collective stance from neighbouring countries as well as the international community which must reserve its energy resources and secure its maritime borders,” said the King.

On the Palestinian issue, the Saudi King reiterated his country’s support for an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly assured its Arab allies that it will not endorse any proposed US peace plan that fails to address Jerusalem's status or refugees’ right of return.

"The Palestinian people have the right to establish their own independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital," King Salman said in his opening address.

On Yemen, King Salman said the kingdom appreciates the efforts led by the Yemeni government, in reaching the Riyadh agreement.

"We affirm our continued support to the Yemeni people and government, and the importance of reaching a political solution."

An agreement was signed in Riyadh last month which enabled Yemen's Aden-based government to share power with the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC).

The agreement ended instability in Aden which began in August when the STC took control of government buildings, opening up a new fissure in the country's five-year war.

The meeting took place after King Salman personally welcomed the head of delegations from the GCC, including , Vice President and Ruler of , Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said.

The GCC's Secretary General, Mohammed Al Zayani, also called for Gulf unity and said the challenges the region faces underscore the importance of cooperation between the Gulf states.

Mr Al Zayani confirmed that "regional procedures are now complete to ensure the security of the Gulf."

The GCC official said the council is working towards achieving "economic integration and union customs by 2025."

Updated: December 10, 2019 05:17 PM

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