ALULA, Saudi Arabia: His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah signs the solidarity agreement between Gulf Cooperation Council countries during the 41st GCC Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia yesterday. – Amiri Diwan photos

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman yesterday lauded the late great leaders, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of the State of Kuwait and Sultan Qaboos of Oman, for playing a major role in boosting joint GCC action. In his keynote statement inaugurating the 41st GCC Summit, Prince Mohammad, also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, said upon orders by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the top-level conference was named “Summit of Sheikh Sabah and Sultan Qaboos,” in appreciation for their good actions for backing up the “blessed GCC march.”

He also lauded efforts by the United States of America and “other parties” in this respect, adding that the summit declaration that would crown the top-level meeting affirms solidarity and stability in the Gulf, Arab and Islamic regions, as well as “calls for bolstering the bonds of brotherhood among our states and peoples for serving their aspirations.” Crown Prince Mohammad underscored high urgency for rising up to the regional challenges namely “threats posed by the nuclear program of the Iranian regime, its ballistic missiles’ program and its schemes of sabotage and annihilation that have been adopted by their agents.” He urged the GCC states to “act seriously in the face of the Iranian schemes that threaten regional and international peace and security.”

Solid brotherhood
Meanwhile, UAE’s Vice President, Prime Minister, and Dubai Governor Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al-Maktoum described as positive the 41st GCC Summit and affirmed it would pave the way for “unifying the ranks and solidifying the brotherhood” among the GCC countries. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed said in a tweeted statement, carried by the official news agency ‘WAM’, that the surrounding challenges warrant real and in-depth unity and cooperation among the GCC countries. He thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the successful summit and renewed confidence in the council march. “We also renew our optimism that the coming years will bring stability, security and achievements for our peoples.”

In the meantime, the Arab League highly welcomed the outcome of the summit, and appreciated the efforts exerted by involved Arab countries to end the rift, at a difficult time where Arabs are facing huge challenges. In a statement, the Arab League Secretary General of the League Ahmad Aboul Gheit, affirmed that “any effective measure that leads to calm and normalcy among Arab countries will be in the interest of the collective Arab unity, and it for sure it is welcome, and in turns would strengthens the power and influence of the Arab League.”

Aboul Gheit added, “there is no doubt that the huge challenges facing the Arab world call for healing the rift as soon as possible and achieving consensus between Arab brothers. The League’s Chief noted, “there is no doubt any Arab differences should be solved for the sake of Arab security, which we all need as soon as possible.”Aboul Gheit stressed on working to reinforce a positive situation that emerged from the “Al-Ula summit” and build on it to enhance confidence.

Separately, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lauded the State of Kuwait for healing the “rifts among the brethren, the Arabian Gulf states, and holding the crucial summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The Palestinian news agency ‘Wafa’ quoted president Abbas as praising the GCC summit hoping that it would be followed with successful action at the levels of re-unifying the countries, the Arab ranks and facing the challenges. Conciliation among the brothers, the Gulf states, bolsters joint Arab action and defense “of our nation’s causes notably the Palestinian cause,” he further said.

Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahad bin Mahmoud Al-Said signs the agreement.

First steps
Also yesterday, Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanem expressed his congratulations to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the people of Kuwait and the GCC after the beginning of the first steps of reconciliation among GCC countries. “The first steps of the GCC reconciliation was embodied in the arrival of the GCC leaders and delegations to Saudi Arabia to attend the 41st GCC Summit in Al-Ula province,” said Ghanem in a press statement.

Ghanem praised His Highness the Amir’s efforts in the past few weeks in mediation and convergence of views between GCC countries, “which every person in the region can appreciate.” He added that “His Highness the Amir’s effort in mediation have successfully reached its goals after the continuation of the role of His Highness late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the past few years, and it is a reason for every Kuwaiti to be proud of.” The speaker also praised the GCC leaders’ response to Kuwait’s efforts which ended in a “fraternal embrace” between the leaders in Saudi Arabia. – KUNA