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GCC blasts Iran over plots to politicize annual pilgrimage
September 20, 2016, 8:11 am
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Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah poses for a group photo with GCC FMs. — KUNA

Annual pilgrimage and exploit the annual religious event to harm the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This came in a press statement issued by the GCC Ministerial Council, which held its 140th session at headquarters of the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations. It was chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, attended by the GCC foreign ministers and the Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani.

The Ministerial Council expressed regret for Iran’s refusal to sign the annual agreement for this year’s Hajj season, and voiced appreciation toward Saudi Arabia for its utmost keenness and care for the Hajj pilgrims. On the GCC-Iran relations, the council reiterated opposition to Iran’s plots to destabilize the regional countries and pledged to work together to counter its intervention in the domestic affairs of the GCC member states.

Moreover, they called on Tehran to take steps to cooperate and resolve its differences with the neighbors through peaceful means and to immediately cease all destabilizing activities in the Gulf. The ministers also stressed on importance of implementing the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran, namely Tehran’s abidance by limits set on its nuclear program and provisions for transparency, safeguarding and free access to any nuclear facility. Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah headed the State delegation at the GCC meeting.

GCC also rejected threats to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Iraq and called on the Baghdad government to protect diplomatic missions in the country. This came in statement at the 140th session of the GCC Ministerial Council. The meeting was chaired by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir ans was attended by GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, along with the GCC foreign ministers.

The Council renewed its commitment to the unity of Iraq and its support for anti-terrorism efforts, condemned “crimes committed” by the paramilitary squad, Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi Forces, against civilians in areas that have been retaken by these irregular forces from the so-called Islamic state (IS). The Council supported Security Council Resolution 2107, which had unanimously decided to refer file of Kuwaiti POWs and missing persons and Kuwait’s national archive to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for follow-up, hoping the Iraqi Government would continue cooperating with the State of Kuwait and the international community on these issues.

Moreover, the GCC ministers expressed concern over kidnapping a number of Qatari citizens in southern Iraq, saying that the hostages had entered the country with official permission from the Interior Ministry, in coordination with the Iraqi Embassy in Doha. Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah led Kuwait’s delegation to the coordination meeting of the GCC foreign ministers.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council urged Libyan parties to complete process of re-establishing institutional structures of the transitional State and empowering the parliament to play its role as stipulated by the national conciliation agreement. It urged the Government of National Accord (Al-Wefaq), in its capacity as the sole legitimate government in Libya, to bolster stability and unity of the Libyan territory and support efforts to confront the terrorist organization “Daesh”-the Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State (IS). The statement expressed the GCC States’ keenness on Libya’s security, stability and territorial unity, also praising efforts of UN Secretary General’s envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler.

Source: Agencies

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