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ARAB AFAIRS - Sep 12 - GCC Slams Terror Wave In Iraq.

Opening a meeting of GCC FM's in Jeddah, Kuwait's Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah denounces terrorist attacks in Iraq and reiterates the six-member GCC support for efforts to restore security in the war-ravaged Arab country. Al Sabah says: "The GCC denounces the acts of terror taking place in Iraq, including killing and kidnapping as well terrorising of innocent people". The current chairman of the GCC Ministerial Council Shaikh Mohammad, called for all-out efforts in co-operation with international community to stamp out terrorism. He says: "The terrorist operations taking place in the region and the world at large demand our co-operation with the international community at all levels to eliminate this phenomenon, which has become a major danger". Shaikh Mohammad said the GCC, which groups Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, was taking part "in international efforts to establish security and stability" in Iraq. Al Sabah said the GCC reiterates its support for the independence and territorial integrity of Iraq. He said: "We want to rescue Iraq from the vicious circle of violence fostered by extremist and terrorist groups". The minister congratulated the Iraqi people on forming the National Council, in reference to an interim Parliament. Shaikh Mohammad also blasted Israeli PM Sharon for his "criminal plans and policies" against the Palestinians, saying these policies have resulted in the killing of innocent people, displacement of families, destruction of houses and assassination of Palestinian leaders. "We reiterate our support for the Palestinian people and our commitment to the Arab peace plan", the minister said and called for activating the role of the peace quartet, which includes the US, Russia, the UN and EU. The GCC also called for international action to prevent Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians, remove the dividing wall, and provide compensation to the Palestinians suffering from the impact of the wall. The ministers also called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. Shaikh Mohammad highlighted the GCC's achievements in the economic sector and noted the recent pacts signed with India, Pakistan and China for strengthening economic and commercial co-operation. Education was expected to figure high on the meeting's agenda, one delegate said. GCC states want to "enhance educational systems to create competitiveness among Gulf graduates", the delegate said, asking not be identified. The Jeddah meeting is significant as it comes ahead of Arab FM's meeting in Cairo and New York and in the backdrop of worsening security situation in Iraq.
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Title Annotation:Gulf Cooperation Council
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Sep 18, 2004
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