Kuwait City: The GCC yesterday reiterated its commitment to solidarity in facing regional challenges.
The Amir of Kuwait, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, chaired an annual summit at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.
Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa led Bahrain’s delegation.
A joint declaration at the end of the summit affirmed “the important role of the GCC, its cohesion and unity among members” and reiterated the alliance’s resolve to fight terrorism and extremism.
“This meeting was to reaffirm the solidarity within the GCC states and their joint work,” GCC secretary general Abdullatif Al Zayani said.
In their declaration, the Gulf states called for faster integration of programmes like the common market and the customs union to achieve complete economic unity by 2025.
The summit declaration condemned attacks on the holy city of Mecca and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels.
It described the group’s assassination of former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh as a “tragic development”, saying the GCC leaders are following up on the matter with “anxiety”.
They called for unity of all Yemeni groups and parties, including the party of Saleh, to “get rid of the Houthi militias which are following and being backed by Iran.”
The GCC condemned “all terrorist actions carried out by Iran and its continued interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries,” the statement said.
The statement also strongly condemned Iran’s destabilising activities and intervention in the internal affairs of neighbouring states, its support for terrorist groups in Bahrain and occupation of UAE’s three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.
It also underlined that Iran must cease its support for terrorist groups that have a destabilising impact on the region.
It said GCC leaders were committed to work with the administration of US President Donald Trump in confronting terrorism and Iran’s expansionist policies in the region.
They selected Oman to host the next summit.
Later, the Deputy Premier bid farewell to the Kuwaiti leader and thanked him for his warm hospitality.
He hailed the wisdom of the Kuwaiti leader in moderating the summit sessions, and underlined his pioneering role in bolstering the GCC march.
The GCC welcomed Kuwait’s initiative to host an international donor conference next year to support the reconstruction of areas in Iraq liberated from Daesh, or the Islamic State.