36th GCC Summit concludes in Riyadh, issues communique

RIYADH, 10th December, 2015 (WAM) – The 36th Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States (GCC) Leaders’ Summit, held at the Al Diriyah Palace in Riyadh, ended today with the issuance of a communique.

The GCC leaders reviewed the joint action, political, social and economic changes being experienced by the region and the world, and their direct repercussions on the GCC states. They referred to the role and historic responsibility shouldered by the GCC as part of the Arab and Islamic world.

The GCC leaders stated in the communique that the tolerant religion and goals and objectives of the Statute of the Cooperation Council required the strengthening and promotion of Gulf citizenship, and the common interests of the citizens of the GCC states, and ties of kinship and history, and common destiny among them.

It said that believing in the importance of this blessed march of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States and strengthening the concept of integration, including in all economic, political, social, military and security fields, all the way to unity, then the need becomes urgent to step up efforts to complete the important steps initiated by the Council towards integration, interdependence and communication between the states and their citizens, and uphold the status of the Council to promote its international and regional role, and improve the performance of the Council’s organs to achieve these goals.

The UAE delegation to the Summit was headed by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It was attended by Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC states.

The Riyadh declaration noted that the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the strengthening of integration among the GCC states, which was approved by the leaders in this session, demonstrates the priorities of the joint work next year.

It said that it was agreed to complete the remaining requirements of the Customs Union set forth in Article I of the Economic Agreement between the GCC countries including decisive action to facilitate, speed up and simplify customs points between the GCC countries as a prelude to cancellation proceedings, and the completion of preferential treatment for their nationals and their families in all intra-ports without exception.

The declaration added that the wise perspectives of the Custodian of the Two Mosques concerning consolidation of integration among the GCC states agreed upon by the leaders in this summit was among the top priorities of the joint action for the next round.

It added that seven years since the establishment of the GCC common market based on total equality in treatment of all GCC nationals in all economic spheres, it has been agreed to complete steps of implementation of the market, and to make things easy, it has also been agreed on the formation of the judicial authority which has become a pressing issue that the GCC leaders are keen on finishing up by next year.

The declaration also said that it has been agreed to speed up completion of the economic legislation system which would help in narrowing and unifying the legal environment in the GCC states.

It also referred to speeding of the implementation of the resolution of the supreme council to assist the GCC nationals benefitting from integrated steps adopted by the supreme council.

The wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also aims to consolidate the international status of the GCC and its role in the regional and international issues as well as the establishment of economic and strategic partnerships that would benefit their citizens.

The GCC states also stressed their supportive positions towards the Arab and international issues and their keenness to continue to extend a helping hand to the needy people.

It asserted the supportive stance of the GCC States towards the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen, political solution to the Syrian crisis and fighting terrorism.

The declaration called for holding an international conference for the reconstruction of Yemen after the Yemeni parties reach a political solution and develop a practical programme for the rehabilitation of the Yemeni economy to facilitate its integration with the Gulf economy.

It announced its support for a political solution in Syria and outcomes of the Syrian opposition conference held in Riyadh from 8th to 10th December, 2015, ensuring Syrian territorial integrity and independence, in accordance with the principles of Geneva (1), welcoming the results of the Vienna conference of the concerned parties.

It noted that the GCC states confirmed that the countries of the world shall assume a shared responsibility in the fight against extremism and terrorism and its elimination whatever might be its source, and added that the GCC countries have contributed in this regard and will continue their efforts in co-operation and co-ordination with sisterly and friendly countries, stressing that terrorism has no religion, and our tolerant religion rejects it, as it is the religion of moderation and tolerance.

The vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to promote the GCC joint action, and the decisions taken by the Supreme Council at this session provide the optimal approach to achieve these goals over the next year; and the Kingdom Saudi Arabia will co-ordinate and co-operate with Member States and the Secretariat of the Cooperation Council to put them in force during its presidency of the Council.

Then King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Kingdom of Bahrain delivered a speech in which he said, ”We express our deep appreciation to the wise administration of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of the works of this summit, which had a very positive impact on reaching qualitative resolutions and positive results for the development of our blessed Gulf march, promotion of our brotherly relations and enhancement of common interests.” King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa invited the GCC leaders to hold the next session of the Supreme Council in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The closing session was attended by leaders, princes, ministers, members of delegations accompanying the GCC leaders, heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the Kingdom, and senior officials.