GCC to confront Iraq security fallout


“Our meeting was held today on the instructions of GCC leaders to discuss how to deal with the consequences of the dangerous situation in Iraq,” said Prince Abdul Rahman, deputy minister of defense and aviation, who chaired the meeting.

Addressing the extraordinary meeting, Prince Abdul Rahman called for taking a joint decision to confront the challenge that threatens GCC security. The Gulf Cooperation Council groups Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

“What is happening in Iraq now is definitely going to affect the security and stability of our countries,” the prince said. “So, we have to make all possible efforts to stop the worsening situation in Iraq and protect its national unity and territorial integrity.”

The Saudi minister also urged greater GCC involvement to realize Iraqi national reconciliation in order to help the Iraqis stand united in the face of sectarian violence and terrorist threats.

The Arab ministerial committee on Iraq, which met in Cairo recently, had called for a conference with the participation of all Iraqi groups to achieve their reconciliation, strengthen their unity and bring security and stability to their country.

GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah also cautioned about the fast moving dangerous developments in Iraq and its impact on the Gulf region.

The GCC leaders in their last consultative meeting instructed their defense and foreign ministers as well as intelligence directors to hold a joint meeting to adopt a joint stand on the Iraqi security situation and its dangerous implications.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Al-Attiyah said the ministers and security officers had reviewed the security challenges in the region and how to confront them. He said a similar meeting had taken place in Jeddah three years ago.

“It is only natural that ministers from these sectors gather and exchange their opinions on the developments in the region,” the GCC chief said, adding that the views exchanged during the meeting dealt with political, economic, and defense matters. “A number of committees have been formed to meet regularly and review matters of interest concerning the three sectors,” he added.

Al-Attiyah said another GCC meeting would be held in Jeddah tomorrow with the participation of foreign ministers.

Among the topics discussed at the meeting yesterday were the escalation of violence in Iraq and the political situation there, he said. “They also discussed the Iranian nuclear program and its impact on the Gulf region,” he added.

“They did not discuss the GCC defense shield,” he said while answering a reporter’s question.

The one-day meeting came amid increased US-Iranian tension over Tehran’s nuclear program and accusations that the Iranians are interfering with Iraqi politics via the Shiite Muslim parties they support.


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