Quit UAE isles, GCC tells Iran

The GCC on Tuesday reiterated unwavering support to the UAE’s sovereignty over its three islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa which are occupied by Iran.In a communiqué issued at the end of their 31st summit, the GCC leaders threw their weight behind the UAE’s right to regain sovereignty over its three islands and over the territorial waters, the airspace, the continental shelf, and the economic zone of the three islands, as they are an integral part of the United Arab Emirates.The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who chaired the two-day meeting, declared the GCC summit concluded.The leaders expressed their disappointment that repeated contacts with the Islamic Republic of Iran have not produced any positive outcome that would contribute to the resolution of the issue, and maintain the security and stability of the region.The final statement of the Abu Dhabi summit demanded Iran commit itself to the basic principles of promoting good-neighbourliness, mutual respect, non-interference, settlement of disputes through peaceful means and refraining from using or threatening to use force in that respect.

The GCC leaders welcomed the international efforts, especially those made by the Group (5+1), to deal with the Iranian nuclear dossier, and hoped that Iran would react positively to such efforts. “The GCC monitored with grave concern the developments in the dossier and reiterated its firm position on the importance of compliance with principles of the international legitimacy, resolution of disputes through peaceful means and making the Middle East region, including the Gulf area, free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons,’ said the communique.The summit coincided with a new round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva. The West suspects Iran’s nuclear programme is designed to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies, insisting its objective is to generate electricity.The GCC called for enhanced regional security and joint action to fight terrorism by cutting off sources of funding for militant groups.Urging member-states to renounce violence and extremism associated with terrorism, the GCC communique pledged full support to all regional and international efforts aimed at combating terrorism.The leaders called on the international community to back the GCC proposal to establish a World Counterterrorism Centre to strengthen the global efforts in monitoring and foiling terrorism plans.

The statement praised the security services in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for detecting and smashing terrorists cells and plots.On regional economy, the leaders passed a resolution allowing GCC companies to open branches in member-states. They also expressed satisfaction over the performance of the GCC economies.The Gulf leaders threw their support behind the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to negotiate with Israel in the absence of a settlement freeze. They also emphasised that any settlement freeze should include Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem.The leaders underlined both their support for “the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state” and “opposition to a partial settlement or in stages” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.They “denounced the Israeli project for making occupied Al Quds (Jerusalem) the capital of the Jewish people” and urged the international community to “compel Israel to end its practices aimed at ‘Judaising’ east Jerusalem – Khaleejtimes