Bahrain King highlights GCC role for solving Middle East crises

Manama: Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has highlighted the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in seeking political solutions to the crises in the Middle East without foreign interference.

Declaring open the 37th GCC at Al-Sakhir Palace here on Tuesday, he stressed on the deep rooted fraternal relations binding the GCC member states and peoples, the Bahraina News Agency reported.

Al-Khalifa paid tribute to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, lauding the dedicated efforts he exerted during his rotation presidency of the previous session.

The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Al-Khalifa hailed the Saudi leader’s farsighted vision which contributed to a large extent to elaborating the work orientations of the next period, commending the GCC leaders’ strenuous efforts to strengthen the pillars of the historic six-member milestone that symbolises shared interests and a promising future.

“Our meeting convenes in the backdrop of unprecedented political and economic circumstances which affect all countries in the world”, he said, urging the highest level of cooperation so that the GCC can pursue its successful progress and influential role on the international arena.

He hailed the landmark strides of the council, saying that it was no longer just a tool to consolidate achievements, but that it has also gained leverage and morphed into a regional power that takes the initiative to maintain security and peace in the region and the world.

He highlighted the GCC’s pivotal and active role in seeking political solutions and initiatives to the crises facing countries in the region and staving off foreign interference in their internal affairs.

He saluted the establishment of the economic development commission which, he said, served as a viable mechanism to bolster member states and turn them into a global economic actor on the basis of productivity, competitiveness and steady growth towards enhancing the level of sustainable development.

The King hailed projects, initiatives and economic agreements sealed between member countries, citing particularly the GCC Common Market, the power and water grid as well as the planned customs union, modern telecommunications and transportation network towards comprehensive integration which features on the summit priorities.