Iran, Iraq Blast GCC
Iran and Iraq on January 1st and 2nd blasted the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for statements made at the end of a two-day summit that concluded on December 31st.
A GCC communiqué following a summit in Bahrain affirmed the group’s “support for the rights of the U.A.E. to the three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa that are occupied by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The GCC, consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., also recommended that the dispute be taken to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
U.A.E. Information Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zaid al-Nahayan said on December 31st that Iran had refused to meet with a GCC tripartite committee, comprised of foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, that was established in 1999 to aid in resolving the dispute between the two countries.
A spokesman from the Iranian foreign ministry rejected the GCC statement, saying that: “ We regret that these countries have, unreasonably and outside of international standards and regardless of neighborly relations, raised certain claims against the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
He reiterated Iran’s resistance to working with the GCC, adding that: “Once again, we declare that we are ready to continue direct negotiations with the U.A.E.”
Iraq’s official newspaper said on January 2nd that statements made by the GCC concerning Baghdad were inspired by Washington.
The ruling Baath party newspaper al-Tharwa said that: “The council’s statement on Iraq is no more than a dictation of the policy of the American administration [on Iraq].”
The group’s communiqué had called on Baghdad to open “a comprehensive dialogue” with the U.N. Security Council to destroy all weapons of mass destruction, leading to the lifting of decade-long sanctions imposed against Iraq.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)