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39th GCC Summit issues final communique

Riyadh, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Gulf leaders and heads of GCC States delegations concluded this the meeting of the 39th session of the Supreme Council of the Council of cooperation at Diriyah Palace in Riyadh.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Abdullatif al-Zayani, later read the final communique of the thirty-ninth session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the "Riyadh Declaration", which reads as follows:

(About 37 years after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was founded, it is substantial for GCC members to adhere to the Council, enhance collective action and mobilize around shared resources to confront the dangers threatening the region's security and stability and meet the aspirations of GCC's citizens to gain more integration.

We now realize the insight of the leaders who established the Council in May 1981, where the statute by the founders stated that the ultimate objective of the GCC is to achieve coordination, complementarity and cohesion among Member States in all fields, and to deepen and strengthen the existing ties and linkages among their peoples in various fields.

Today, the countries' leaders reaffirm their eagerness to maintain the strength and cohesion of the GCC, and the unity of its members, due to their special relations and common characteristics based on Islamic faith, Arab culture, long history, common destiny as well as the unity of purposes that connect their nations.

The GCC has reached important achievements along the way, which has contributed to making this region an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace. Much has been done towards achieving equal treatment for all Gulf citizens. However, the new challenges that we face today, require additional achievements to strengthen the common Gulf action, and to complete the necessary steps, programs and projects required for economic, social, political, security and military integration.

Throughout the past decades, all GCC countries have presented ambitious visions for the Council's progress, through which they have launched important complementary projects in all fields aimed at using human and economic resources for the benefit of citizens in all GCC nations.

The vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, laid the foundations for the integration system among GCC countries in all fields.

The countries' leaders stressed today the importance of completing the necessary programs and projects to achieve the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, approved by the leaders at Riyadh Summit in December 2015, and they called to take the necessary steps to achieve this, including:

1. Developing a road map including activating necessary procedures in order to achieve complementarity among the GCC countries based on the leaders vision, to lay the foundations for framing and regulating relations among the GCC member states and the international community to achieve higher growth and prosperity to meet aspirations of the GCC citizens. This is in addition to achieving the economic reforms in the GCC countries aligned with the objectives of joint Gulf action, strengthening the security and stability of the Gulf region, raising the GCC countries status, enhancing the performance of GCC institutions and promoting its regional and international role.

2. At the economic level, the leaders called for strict commitment to the timelines that have been set to accomplish economic integration among the GCC states, implementing all the terms of the economic agreement, and removing all the barriers and obstacles that are getting in the way of implementing joint action resolutions, especially overcoming obstacles that are getting in the way of meeting the requirements of the Gulf Common Market and Custom Union, and issuing the necessary legislative regulations for this purpose to achieve economic unity among GCC stated by 2025.

3. With regard to GCC Common Defense, the appointment of a commander for the joint military command is a key step towards accomplishing the integrated defense system. The leaders issued instructions for all procedures related to activating the joint military command, to be accomplished rapidly so that it can embark on its missions. They also issued instructions for establishment of a Gulf Academy for Security and Strategic Studies, with the aim of constructing the joint military command based on a robust strategy and qualifying Gulf military commanders to accomplish those tasks.

4. At the security level, the leaders emphasized the pivotal role of the GCC in preserving regional security and stability, countering terrorist organizations, through the integration of the security mechanism of the GCC states; tackling extremist ideology through promoting the values of moderation, tolerance, pluralism, and human rights; abiding by the rule of law, and setting the principles of justice that stem from Islam and authentic Arabic traditions. They also emphasized the importance of working with the GCC partners within the international community to eradicate terrorism, drain its sources and confront the actions of some militias and terrorist groups that undermine the resources and wealth of the countries of the region.

5. The leaders emphasized the great importance of developing a united and effective foreign policy for the GCC, that is based on its constitution, and which serves to preserve its interests and achievements while keeping it out of regional and international conflicts. They also confirmed their support for the Palestinian cause and the unity of Palestinians, and the GCC's diligence to help the brothers in Yemen and the rest of the Arab countries to achieve security, stability and economic prosperity.

6. The leaders called for strengthening strategic partnerships, enhancing economic and cultural cooperation and building political and security coordination between the GCC and allies with other regional regimes, in line with the changes in the international order to maintain security and stability in the region. The GCC countries continued to provide assistance to allied countries, through various humanitarian and development programs funded by GCC States around the world, based on the GCC's humanitarian duty and Islamic and Arabic values.

7. The leaders stressed the important role of GCC countries, the business sector, Gulf women and families and NGOs in preserving the gains of the Council's approach , presenting constructive proposals to support them and implementing the decisions and directives issued by the leaders at this summit. Issued in Riyadh, on Sunday, December 9, 2018.)

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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