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Last Updated 2023-06-09T16:36:20Z

Gulf Cooperation Council and US Release Joint Statement on Ukraine Conflict and Regional Stability


Photo: Meeting of the Gulf State Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Thursday (8/6/2023). (AFP/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken have released a joint statement on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The representatives of the Arab countries in the Gulf reiterated the importance of respecting the principles of sovereignty and international law, including the UN Charter, and refraining from threats or use of violence against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country. They also highlighted the need to provide support for refugees and those affected by the war in Ukraine.

While the GCC has been less active compared to the US on the issue of Ukraine, the group and Blinken released a joint statement to achieve political and economic stability in the region. The committee emphasized the importance of infrastructure projects to promote regional integration and interconnectivity, contributing to the stability and prosperity of the area. Navigation rights and freedom were also discussed, and the security of ships traveling through the region was highlighted.

The ministers reiterated the importance of combating terrorism and violent extremism globally, welcoming the global coalition's high-level meeting to defeat ISIS (Daesh). The Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, stated that the kingdom would lead a focused group on African affairs to combat Daesh. He also urged the formation of a focused group to fight the spread of the terrorist organization in the Afghanistan region.

Meanwhile, Blinken reaffirmed the United States' commitment to regional security, acknowledging the vital role of the region in the global economy and international trade. The GCC and the United States also reiterated their commitment to navigation freedom and maritime security in the region, countering any illegal actions at sea that may threaten shipping lanes, international trade, and oil installations in the GCC. They also renewed their support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and called on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Regarding the Israel-Palestine issue, the committee aimed to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East in line with a two-state solution and the 1967 borders, emphasizing Jordan's role in the situation. The committee also reiterated its commitment to achieving a political solution to the Syrian crisis in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 issued in 2015, welcoming Arab efforts to resolve the conflict.

In Iraq, the ministers discussed the importance of civilian-led efforts, including economic reforms to ensure the Iraqi people benefit from the country's natural resources, stabilization measures to enable society to recover from Daesh's conflict and violence, efforts to prevent terrorist funding, and actions to counter Daesh's narrative, complementing the ongoing work to enhance the Iraqi government's counterterrorism capabilities.