Iran, Yemen war likely to top GCC summit agenda

GCC foreign ministers meeting in Riyadh on Monday ahead of the 40th summit meeting of the grouping. — SPA

Saudi Gazette report

Subversive activities by Iran and the war in Yemen are likely to dominate the 40th GCC summit here on Tuesday.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will chair the summit, which is expected to discuss regional and international political developments as well as the security situation in the region and their impact on the GCC states’ security and stability.

Riyadh has previously hosted the GCC summit on eight occasions.

Ahead of Tuesday’s summit, foreign ministers of the GCC countries met here on Monday afternoon to decide on the meeting’s agenda which is expected to be full of issues that aim to boost joint Gulf work in various political, economic, defense, security and legal fields.

The foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman discussed regional and international political developments, as well as the security situation in the region and their impact on the GCC states’ security and stability.

Earlier, GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani said the Kingdom’s hosting of the meeting reflects its leadership’s keenness on the council, which has proven its ability to overcome challenges and achieve its higher goals.

He hailed King Salman’s leadership and his dedicated efforts to bolster the GCC out of his belief in the strength of fraternal relations among the bloc’s member states.

In remarks to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), he congratulated Saudi Arabia on assuming the presidency of the G20, saying this reflects the Kingdom’s high economic standing in the world and its constructive role in backing developing countries and regional issues.

He hoped the GCC summit would achieve the aspirations of the Gulf people as it would help forge greater cooperation among the member countries.

Al-Zayani made the remarks after he was received by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on Sunday, reported Saudi Press Agency.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif; Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah; and the Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and National Security Adviser Dr. Musaed Bin Mohammed Al-Aiban.

The Riyadh summit comes amid rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Riyadh and Washington have squarely blamed Iran for the Sept. 14 attack on major Saudi oil facilities.

Riyadh has repeatedly urged the world to stand firm against Tehran and its destabilizing acts through regional proxies.

“The region is facing a choice between good and evil after the attack on installations of Saudi Aramco,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said at a security conference in Bahrain last month.

“Deterrence should continue to prevent Iran from repeating attacks... Appeasement did not work with Hitler and won’t work with the Iranian regime,” he added.

Al Jubeir renewed the warning this week in Rome.

“(Iran’s) aggression can no longer be tolerated,” he said on Friday.

Since its founding in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has overcome the challenges of these past four decades in a region that is at the center of so many strategic geopolitical developments.

Together, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman under the auspices of the common framework of the GCC have ensured that the prosperity and security in the Gulf has endured. That alone speaks of the success of the GCC and its ability to weather the political storms and differences.

One strength of the GCC as an organization is its ability to weather the political storms that blow through the region. While the individual members may have their disagreements, the GCC still ensures that the members focus on the wider picture and how it may affect the pan-Gulf region.