GCC summit: Iran offers joint security pacts
Gulf states and Iran should work together toward establishing regional security and economic pacts free of "foreign intervention," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajed said Monday in his first ever appearance at the Gulf Cooperation Council.
"We call for peace and security without any foreign influence," Ahmadinejad said in his opening speech as the GCC gathering got under way in Doha. There exists extensive untapped grounds for expansion of mutual cooperation among the GCC members, said Ahmadinejad, adding that security of regional countries is interrelated, so the states should ink security pacts that would guarantee their security.
"We propose the establishment of economic and security pacts and institutions among the seven states" here. The pacts should "serve the people of our region more than ever before," the Iranian leader said and invited the Gulf leaders to Tehran to discuss his proposal. He also proposed their joint cooperation in the nuclear field, including the training of Gulf scientists in Iran.
Ahmadinajd's attendance Monday at the GCC summit was the first time an Iranian leader had been invited as a guest to the annual six-member gathering that was meeting in the Qatari capital.
The Iranian leader also suggested a string of intiatives, including "open borders" with the GCC to strengthen economic, industrial and trade relationship among the Gulf countries, the cancelling of visas for their citizens, joint oil and gas projects, enviromental protection and technological cooperation, and said Iran was prepared transport energy through the region.
"This will be a huge step toward reinforcing friendly relationship betwen the states," Ahmadinejad said of his proposal. "Our cooperation will unite against any foreign influence or injustioce ... We should make every effort to have the region devoid of any tension or crisis.
"The Islamic republic of Iran is perapared to make its experitise and knowledge available to regional states," he concluded, adding he hoped the summit would come up with a «breakthrough decision."
The summit was inaugurated with a speech by Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. The Qatari leader in his remarks urged dialogue among the Gulf states and said the United Nations should be the place to resolve regional disputes. "While we realize that the mounting crises in the region have their reasons and backgrounds, and many of them are clear to us, we hope that all those who are concerned with the regional and international issues reconsider their positions before its is too late," said al Thani.
The summit, which lasts through Tuesday, is also attended by the heads of state from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.