GCC chief urges cooperation to enhance regional security


In his address to the Second Bahrain Security Forum and Exhibition which kicked off here earlier today, Al-Atiyyah thanked Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin-Salman Al-Khalifa and Crown Prince Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa for their efforts to push forward the democratization of the Arabian Gulf kingdom and promote regional stability.

He, meanwhile, voiced regret over the "unjustifiable provocative" claims raised by an Iranian senior official about some GCC members recently (apparently referring to the Kingdom of Bahrain).

Such claims are detrimental to the important efforts made by the GCC countries in the recent years to improve relations with Iran including the signing of cooperation accords and inviting Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to take part in the GCC summit in Doha, Qatar, in December, 2007, Al-Atiyyah asserted.

The common challenges facing the regional security require concerted efforts by all the countries of the region to enhance cooperation, mutual trust and neighborliness, improve their human resources, and take advantage of the latest achievements of information and communication technologies, he pointed out.

The six GCC member states are committed to the principles of friendship neighborliness and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other nations in line with the teachings of Islamic Faith and the provisions of the international conventions, he reaffirmed.

Speaking to the forum, Chairman of the British Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI) Sir Paul Lever said all countries of the world have a common task to coordinate their security policies in the face of the threat of global terrorism.

Lever briefed the conferees on the experiences of European countries in tackling the issues of terrorism and overcoming the breaches that marred the achievements in this domain.

In a similar statement to the event, Iranian Minister of Interior Sadeq Mahsuli which suffered from long conflicts is facing common challenges at present.
The specters of tension, terrorism, occupation and economic recession looming large in the Middle East region require enhanced cooperation by all stakeholders, Mahsuli underscored.

Former US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff suggested finding a mutually-acceptable definition of terrorism in a bid to strengthen international joint action against the growing menace of terror.

There are political and ideological motives behind terrorism, Chertoff said, noting that the terrorists manipulate the information and communication technologies in spreading panic and their ideology around the globe.

He urged building a successful and effective system for exchange of intelligence, noting that the ongoing event provide an ample opportunity for getting acquainted with the latest tools for achieving local, regional and international security.

INTERPOL President Khoo Boon Hui called for global solutions against transnational security threats.

Unless a global perspective to law enforcement is adopted, security threats will grow faster than the capacity of countries to counter them, he warned.

Khoo called for an increase in multilateral approaches to security and for greater international law enforcement co-ordination.

"Today’s transnational threats to our homelands compel us to go beyond national-centric answers of the past and force us to develop global solutions, " said President Khoo. "The reality of today’s security landscape means that no one agency, government or region can operate in a vacuum.

Now more than ever we must devote greater, not fewer, resources to keeping our citizens and countries safe. Criminals and terrorists are nothing if not opportunistic and we will all pay the consequences if we let our guard down," he added.

For his part, Mohammad Zain-El-Abedin, director general of Kuwait’s Zain communication group reviewed the significant role of communications in the global combat against terrorism.

Col. Riyadh Eid Abdullah, director general of the general department of Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior and chairman of the organizing committee, said the ongoing event gathered 195 government officials from various countries along with 120 academicians, 81 representatives of the private sectors, 35 representatives of the public sectors and 180 firms and well as delegates of regional and international organizations.

The Second Bahrain Security Forum and Exhibition is being organized by Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior in association with the RUSI.


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