RIYADH -- The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, countries and the United States, US, expressed their commitment to treat the roots of the crises in the Middle East.

Their statement came from a meeting yesterday that included both sides in Riyadh from an invitation by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, which highlighted their strategic partnership.

During the meeting, there were discussions regarding regional and international issues of common interest, with an agreed vision about the importance of combining efforts to achieve stability, security and prosperity.

The leaders demonstrated their tangible achievements since the second summit on 21st April, 2016, in Riyadh, including the arrangements to strengthen co-operation between both sides and improve their strategic partnership.

According to the statement, the leaders expressed their commitment for treating the roots of the crises in the Middle East region, as well as taking further urgent steps to intensify their efforts to defeat the Daesh and Al Qaida terrorist organisations, and their opposition to Iranian interference that undermine their stability and decrease the intensity of regional efforts, while striving to find solutions for these issues.

The leaders promoted strengthening the ability of GCC countries to stand up to threats from any origin and to challenge Iranian activities that undermine security, while working together to limit sectarianism and regional tensions that cause instability.

The leaders valued their agreement to establish a centre to target terror funding in Riyadh, which will open its doors to more countries in the future.

The leaders also highlighted the joint working groups that were formed to realise the results of the first summit to defend the region against ballistic missiles, as well as arming, training, fighting terrorism and promoting marine security, cyber security and protecting infrastructure, while facing Iranian interference in the region's affairs.

The leaders stressed their commitment to continue close co-operation between the GCC and the US regarding issues of common interest through meetings of ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of defence from both sides.

The US delegation highlighted its commitment to defend the security of GCC countries against any external threat, while the GCC leaders expressed their commitment to strengthen security co-operation and their joint responsibility against the dangers facing the region.

The US welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Military Coalition to fight terrorism, led by Saudi Arabia, as part of the international war against terrorism. The GCC leaders also mentioned the efforts of the global coalition against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, led by the US, and stressed the necessity of combining efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Iraqi and Syrian refugees and immigrants.

The leaders also expressed their absolute rejection of Iran's continuing interference in the internal affairs of the council's and region's countries and demanded an absolute commitment to the rules of the international law and its foundations, principles and main cornerstones, based on the principle of good neighbourly relations, respect for the sovereignty of countries and not using force or threats. They also demanded that Iran take real and practical steps to build trust and solve its differences with its neighbours in peaceful ways.

The leaders again denounced and condemned the continuing Iranian interferences in the internal affairs the region's countries, considering it a violation of the sovereignty of the council's countries, as well as Iran's attempt to spread dissension and instigate sectarianism between citizens of the GCC, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, by supporting violent extremist elements, training their agents, smuggling weapons and explosives and making various provocative statements to undermine security, order and stability, which negates the principle of good neighbourly relations and not interfering in the internal affairs of countries, based on international principles, laws, charters and conventions.

They then stressed the necessity of Iran's commitment to its Nuclear Arms Deal, and expressed their extreme concern regarding Iran's continuous launch of ballistic missiles as a clear violation of the decisions of the United Nations, UN, International Security Council.

The leaders also expressed their commitment to work together to achieve overall peace between Palestine and Israel, while agreeing to do what they can to provide the appropriate environment to advance the peace process. They also stressed their solid position for maintaining the unity and stability of Syria and its regional safety, and they expressed their support for the efforts of the delegate of the UN Secretary-General to find a political solution based on the Geneva Conference Statement No.1 and the Security Council Decision No. 2254, while highlighting the importance of lifting the siege on Syrian cities, delivering humanitarian aid to damaged areas and besieged civilians, stopping bombings on populated areas and releasing detainees.

The leaders stressed their full commitment to the unity of Yemen and for respecting its sovereignty and independence and refusing any interference in its internal affairs, while highlighting the importance of a political solution according to the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanism, and executing the UN Security Council Decisions No. 2216 (2015). They also expressed their utmost appreciation for the efforts of the special delegate of the UN in Yemen to continue deliberations between Yemeni factions, with the aim of reaching a political solution.

The leaders then stressed their commitment to work with the international community to prevent the ongoing supply of weapons to the Houthi militias and their allies, in violation of the UN Security Council Decision No. 2216, while highlighting the necessity of combining joint efforts to face Al Qaida and Daesh in the Arabian Peninsula.

They also expressed their concern about the Houthi militia's confiscation of humanitarian aid supplies, which has worsened the humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen, while welcoming the results of the Pledging Conference in Geneva on 25th April, 2017, highlighting the speed of fulfilling the commitments offered by the pledging countries.

The leaders expressed their enthusiasm for working together to bring back security and stability in Yemen, and rehabilitating its economy and regaining its public services, after reaching the desired political solution.

The leaders also expressed their hope that the operation to liberate Mosul will result in refugees returning to their cities and villages, and for finding an overall political reconciliation process that brings together the various sects of the Iraqi people without exclusion or bias, answering their aspirations.

The agreement included the strengthening of economic relations and supporting it in different fields, including the commercial, investment, energy, alternative energy, industry, technology, agriculture, transport, and infrastructure development sectors, according to the development visions adopted by the GCC countries.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders agreed to hold an annual summit to demonstrate their progress in executing the agreements from this summit and to foresee any necessary requirements, to strengthen the strategic partnership between the GCC and the US.

Source: Emirates News Agency