NEW YORK, 19th September, 2016 (WAM) — The GCC Ministerial Council has stressed the firm position of the GCC Countries in denouncing terrorism and extremism and their rejection of all its forms and manifestations, regardless of the motives or justifications.

Concluding its 140th Complementary Meeting held at the headquarters of the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the UN, the GCC Ministerial Council expressed its full rejection to Iran’s continuous interference in the internal affairs of GCC Countries and the region, calling on Iran to commit to the principle of good neighbourliness.

The council commended the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s agreement on the establishment of a coordination council between the two countries to consolidate the fraternal relations and to intensify bilateral cooperation through continuous consultation and coordination.

The council reiterated its firm position on rejection of the continued Iranian occupation of the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which constitute an integral part of the United Arab Emirates’ territory.

In this regard, the council stressed its support for the UAE sovereignty over the three islands, territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and the three Islands’ economic zone.

They urged Iran to respond to UAE calls to end this dispute either through direct negotiations or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.

The GCC meeting hailed the outcome of the 16th consultative meeting of the Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of the GCC countries, held on May 31st, and the taken decisions which have largely contributed to the promotion of joint work and enhancement of security and stability in the region.

The Ministerial Council congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the success of this year’s pilgrimage season and appreciated the huge efforts and substantial facilities put by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, the Saudi government and Saudi people at the disposal of the pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors to the Holy places.

The Ministerial Council, meanwhile, condemned Iran for its attempts to politicise Hajj and exploit it in affronting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, calling on Iranian officials to refrain from such allegations and attitudes.

The meeting lauded the efforts made by the security agencies of the Kingdom of Bahrain in thwarting terrorist plots and managing to arrest members of terrorist organisations, backed by the terrorists of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah when they foiled a series of terrorist acts they intend to carry out in Bahrain, condemning the incessant Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom.

They held Iran responsible for sponsoring terrorist acts in Bahrain by supporting the terrorists, training them and smuggling weapons and explosives into the Kingdom, in addition to fuelling sectarian strife and issuing statements at various levels to disturb security, order and stability.

They uttered total rejection of Iran’s continued interference in the internal affairs of the GCC countries and the region, calling for full commitment to the fundamentals and basics of the principle of good neighbourliness, respect of states’ sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and to refrain from threats to use force so as to preserve regional security and stability.

The Ministerial Council expressed its deep concern over the US Congress issuance of the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ which is contrary to the established principles of the international law, especially the principle of the equality of States in terms of sovereignty as stipulated by the United Nations Charter, expressing the GCC countries’ hope that the United States would turn it down.

The Ministerial Council has stressed the firm position of the GCC states in renunciation of terrorism and extremism and their rejection of all its forms and manifestations, regardless of the motives, justifications or sources and called for concerted efforts to eliminate the sources of its financing.

It also strongly condemned the suicide bombings that hit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Holy Month of Ramadan, affirming the GCC countries’ decision that has classified Hezbollah with all its commanders, factions and affiliated groups as a terrorist organization.

On the situation in the Palestinian territories, the Ministerial Council stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace can be achieved only with the complete withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the Arab peace initiative and the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy.

On Iraq, the Ministerial Council reiterated its keenness on the unity of the brotherly Republic of Iraq and its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, denouncing the practices and crimes being committed by the Popular Crowd Forces against the civilians who live in the areas under the control of Daesh terrorist organisation.

It also expressed its rejection and condemnation of the threats of assassination against the Ambassador of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to shoulder its responsibilities and fulfil its international obligations on the need to provide full protection for the diplomatic missions on the basis of the relevant international treaties.

The Ministerial Council also affirmed the unflinching position of the GCC countries on maintaining the unity of Syria, its stability and territorial integrity and vowed full commitment to the unity of Yemen and respect for its sovereignty and independence as well as rejection of any interference in its internal affairs.

The council also underlined the importance of a political solution to the Yemeni crisis, based on the Gulf Initiative, its mechanisms of implementation, the outcome of the comprehensive National Dialogue and Riyadh Conference and demanded the unconditional execution of the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2216 of 2015, in addition to stressing the security, stability and territorial integrity of Libya and the need for collective confrontation of the Daesh.

The meeting also commended the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s keenness to create a suitable environment for Yemeni talks, hosted by Kuwait between April and August.

They reiterated support for the UN Secretary General’s Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmad’s mediation efforts, and welcomed the Yemeni government’s approval of the UN-proposed peace agreement which called for withdrawal from Sanaa, Taez and Hudaida.

The foreign ministers welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s lifting of the Arab Coalition from the list of entities responsible for violence against children in Yemen.