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GCC Summit to be held amidst regional challenges
December 5, 2015, 5:02 pm
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The 36th GCC Summit, which will be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 9 December, under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, will tackle a number of political issues on the agenda chiefly the situation in Yemen.

The summit is expected to tackle political, security, economic, cultural and other issues related with ongoing situation in the region and joint efforts to achieve cooperation and cohesion. Many developments and political challenges have emerged since the Qatar summit last year. In late March an Arab and International coalition led by Saudi Arabia was set up to support legitimacy in Yemen in response to a call by Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi. The coalition launched 'Operation Decisive Storm' and 'Operation Restoration of Hope' against the Houthi rebels and their local allies.

During the 137th preparatory meeting of the GCC ministerial council, held in Riyadh in mid-November and chaired by Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Current GCC Ministerial Council, the GCC foreign ministers along with Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the GCC, discussed the latest regional and international political developments and their impact on the GCC states.

The meeting reviewed the issues submitted to it by the ministerial committees. These included the agenda of the Supreme Council in the next session regarding political, security, economic, cultural and other issues related with current situation, and joint efforts to achieve cooperation and cohesion.

At the 136th session, which was held in Doha, Qatar in September, the GCC ministerial council had asserted the need for a political solution to the crisis in Yemen according to the GCC initiative and its executive mechanism, as well as according to the comprehensive national dialogue framework, Riyadh conference and UN Security Council resolution 2216/2015. The GCC initiative stipulated formation of a power-sharing government led by the opposition and conditioned by securing Yemen's security and stability as well as smooth transfer of legitimacy to spare Yemen from sliding into chaos.

The council had also extolled humanitarian efforts exerted by the GCC states for Yemen, hailing the key role played in this regard by the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, who had called for establishment of King Salman Center for Charity Work in Yemen and designated additional one billion riyals.

His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah had designated $100 million to carry out a comprehensive rescue plan for Yemen and deputized the supreme committee for relief and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) to carry out this operation. GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani had also announced that the GCC states had pledged 67 percent of the cost for restoration operation in Yemen, which exceeded $8 billion. A number of GCC charitable organizations had also vowed to offer medical and humanitarian aid to Yemen. 

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