The plan of the six Arab Gulf countries to establish a five-year development aid programme for Morocco and Jordan is part of the bloc’s efforts to develop a partnership with the two Arab countries, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials said. “Establishing the programme is part of the GCC effort to enhance the partnership and association with the two countries,” said Abdul Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg, Director General of the International Economic Relations at the Riyadh-based GCC Secretariat. “There will more meetings later to specify the modalities (for the programme), and the partnership (with the GCC),” Aluwaisheg told Gulf News.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain announced in May that they would consider a request by the two Arab monarchies to join. Some experts in the region cited the European Union as an example in assisting some countries to join the bloc.
At the end of their meeting in Jeddah on Sunday evening, the foreign ministers of the GCC announced their aid programme for the two countries aspiring to join the Gulf bloc. However, the amount of aid has not been decided and left for the GCC summit in December.
“There is a call for creating an economic development programme for the two brotherly countries Jordan and Morocco,” GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif Al Zayani said after the meeting. “A recommendation on the size (of the aid) will be made and a decision taken by the heads of state of the GCC at their next summit,” Zayani added.
The Jordanian and Moroccan foreign ministers met with their counterparts in Jeddah. Their meetings were among the notable features of the regular ministerial session, GCC officials noted.
The ordinary session of the GCC tackled several timely regional and international issues including relations with Iran, combating terrorism, the Palestinian quest to go to the UN General Assembly for recognition to their statehood as well as the unrest in some Arab countries.
In their final communique, the ministers called on “the international community to activate the call by the states of the Council to establish an international centre to combat terrorism, to exchange information and expertise, and to coordinate among states to monitor and control the movement of organisations and terrorist elements and thwart their plans.” The GCC meeting coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.
While the GCC officials reiterated the importance of Iran adhering to the basic principles of good neighbourliness including that of non-interference in others’ affairs, they expressed their “deep concern” on the continuation of “provocative statements” by Iranian officials and media towards members of the GCC. The ministers also condemned the Israeli policies in Gaza.
While they expressed their support to the Libyan people’s choices, they expressed their deep regret at the continuing events in Syria.
Concerning the recent tension between Iraq and Kuwait, the ministers announced their support to the Kuwaiti position on the building of the Mubarak Al Kabeer port, which Iraq has objected to because of its location. They said the Kuwaiti port is being built in Kuwaiti territory.