Summit Achievements and Principled Positions

  • 8 December 2010

The 31st GCC Supreme Council Summit, held in Abu Dhabi from December 6-7 under the chairmanship of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which concluded yesterday, was about accomplishments of principled positions as has been the case with Gulf summits in the UAE since May 1981. Several important steps were taken at the Summit with collective interest of the Gulf region in mind, especially in the fields of economy and environment. Initiatives were taken to promote Gulf’s economic objectives and implementing strategies to deal with development challenges. On the same lines came the confirmation, through the Summit’s communiqué, of allowing GCC companies to open branches in other GCC member states and to receive equal treatment like national firms as part of efforts to further strengthen ties among GCC nationals.

Directives were issued to speed up work on the development of mechanisms of the Customs Union, completion of studies and engineering designs for the GCC railway project and approval was granted to the regional plan of action to prepare for and respond to radiological risk in the GCC. The Abu Dhabi Declaration also reiterated the need to ensure water and food security in Gulf countries and laid down emphasis on the diversification of energy resources and also to seriously and efficiently deal with the international environmental performance indicators of the global carbon footprint.

The Summit’s decisions reflect the wisdom of the GCC leaders in dealing with regional and international issues and their consistent position on them. Support was extended to the UAE’s right of sovereignty on its three islands – Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa that are occupied by Iran – and Iran was called upon to respond to the UAE’s efforts in solving the case through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice. The Summit identified the key pillars to establish good-neighborly relationship with Iran wherein top priority should be on mutual respect, non-interference in each others’ internal affairs, solving disputes with peaceful means and without the use of force. While the Summit confirmed the right of the region’s countries to peaceful use of nuclear energy it also stressed that it should be within rules that comply with international legitimacy and serve the purpose of making the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.

The Summit’s resolutions on Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, and tensions in the Korean Peninsula, reflect the constant and principled positions of the GCC countries. It reflected the GCC’s moderate vision on regional and international developments, voiced Arab concerns and supported fair Arab causes. Heads of delegations of the GCC countries paid tributes to the wisdom of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the efficient way in which the Summit was organized. This Summit also reinforced the ability of the UAE to organize great events and the deep insight it enjoys in dealing with the Gulf, regional and international issues.