GCC Summit opens with pledges of cooperation
The 26th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. Participants in the summit, which included almost all GCC leaders, pledged regional cooperation so as to ensure stability and prosperity of the GCC.
Opening remarks to the summit, which has been dubbed the "Fahd Summit" after late King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, were made by GCC President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Khalifa stressed that the achievements of the GCC were a source of pride.
"We all share similar conviction that the homogeneity of our people and the ability of our countries to cooperate is sufficient to cement inter-GCC ties," he said, according to <i>Khaleej Times</i>.
"As we celebrate this great achievement, the GCC, we must remember to pay tribute to the founding fathers of this formidable organization, whose enduring contribution continue to guide the march for cooperation and solidarity among the GCC countries and people," he added.
Khalifa added, however, that despite the achievements of the GCC in the 25 years since its founding, much progress remained to me made. He also noted that that those who act in a unilateral manner would never succeed.
"The paramount objective is to build an enlightened, educated GCC citizen, to provide security and prosperity and reinforce stability and cooperation amongst GCC countries," he said.
Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Saeed, said, "I hope the GCC Summits would accomplish the aspirations of our people. We express our happiness in joining our brethren leaders of the GCC countries in the 26th Summit headed by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan."
The Bahraini Monarch underlined, in a statement upon his arrival, the need for GCC member states to work closely together to cement what he called their "lofty structure in this vital part of the Arab world."
His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, called for cooperation among GCC countries.
Some local sources said the Gulf Arab leaders would call on Iran to respond to their repeated calls to accept negotiations over the disputed UAE islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
In addition, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiya had already ruled out any tough position on Teheran's nuclear weapons program, which he said was "no more worrisome as long as it's designed for peaceful purposes."
Sources also expect summit leaders to urge Syria to cooperate with a UN investigation into the killing of a former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and are likely to issue a strongly worded statement on Syria.