RIYADH: The subject of the fight against terrorism has dominated on the concerns of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), making it at the forefront of the concerns of the GCC leaders and will be among the top priorities for their discussions at the 36th GCC summit due in Riyadh tomorrow.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) considers that terrorism acts are contrary to the teachings of Islam, its values, morals and humanitarian principles and poses a threat to the Gulf communities and the world.

The growing extremist terrorist movements and the spread of sectarian thought have posed serious challenges in the region, thus, prompting the GCC countries to protect their security, stability and worked on maintaining their gains and achievements of the development.

Also, the concentration of many groups and organizations designated by the United Nations as terrorist in volatile security areas and geographically close to the GCC countries constituted a grave security concern to keep away from the impact of the activities of these groups and organizations.

Common strategies
The GCC states have been witnessing various political and security movements at the highest levels to develop common strategies and cooperation with the international community to eradicate terrorism, especially as the three countries of the Council namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recently had been targeted by a number of terrorist attacks which killed scored of innocent victims.

The GCC countries have adopted local steps through religious, media and social awareness campaigns to educate communities about dangers of drifting behind the terrorist misleading ideas that seek to sow discord between the people of one homeland and undermine the unity of the community, as well as urging them not to respond to such ideas.

At the level of political moves, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain joined the international coalition led by America against the organization of the so-called Islamic State or (IS), one of the largest terrorist organizations in the region, through the provision of political and logistical assistance to the alliance.

The GCC countries also supported the Security Council resolution No 2199 of 2015, which passed unanimously under Chapter VII on drying up the sources of terrorist financing and to tighten control over the terrorists and trapping financing of IS and the Nusra front.

The decision called for preventing the trade of goods and valuable material in Syrian and Iraq at areas controlled by terrorist organizations, strengthening the prohibition on the funding sources received by such organizations, while stressing the obligation of States to ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources go for the benefit of the terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

Joint coordination
And about the positions of the Gulf States to counter-terrorism, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz had stressed during the fourth summit between the Arab countries and the countries of Latin America in November on the pursuit of joint coordination in the face of the threat of terrorism. The King said, “We look forward to coordinate our positions towards the issues on the international arena and the fight against terrorism, extremism and to spread the culture of peace and dialogue”.

His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah had said during a meeting with heads of Arab News Agencies in November in Kuwait, “Kuwait has warned other countries of this growing danger that has no homeland or religion where no single nation alone can unless with concerted efforts to track down and eradicate terrorism”.
The premier stressed the need for continued cooperation between the security services in the different countries and the exchange of information to track down terrorists and drying the sources of financing and to pursue them everywhere and then eliminate them.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also stressed during his meeting with heads of Arab News Agencies in November that terrorism outbreak in the region made matters take a negative trend, stressing that this would not diminish the resolve of the GCC’s commitment to achieve the aspiration of the GCC peoples for prosperity.

The Interior Ministers of the GCC States who had late last month in Doha emphasized the interest of these countries for joint security coordination to fight terrorism and the threat posed to the Gulf societies. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said that the developments of the security situation in the region “is now threatening the security of our people and the best interests of our countries and pose a threat to our civilization, economic and cultural achievements”.

The Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said the GCC will continue the efforts of joint cooperation and coordination to confront the terrorist campaigns targeting security and stability.
He said that terrorism is a crime against the entire human society, which requires the cooperation of everyone and the faith of those behind such terrorist activities should not be used to offend a particular race or nation.

Real causes
In turn, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani stressed the support of the GCC states for the regional and international efforts to combat terrorism, stressing that fighting terrorism will only be achieved through the elimination of the real causes, whether political, social, religious, sectarian or other reasons.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has confirmed in line with its initial conviction of the need to address the phenomenon of terrorism through regional and international efforts, it had approved a security strategy to combat extremism associated with terrorism in 2002 and released in the same year (Muscat Declaration) on counter-terrorism. The GCC states also signed the GCC agreement to combat terrorism in 2004 and then formed a security committee to fight terrorism in 2006 which hold meetings on a regular basis.

The Mosque of Imam Al-Sadeq in Al-Sawaber area in Kuwait suffered a terrorist bombing last June 26 during Friday prayers in the holy Ramadan as a suicide bomber killed 26 people and injured 227 others. Saudi Arabia also witnessed during the past few months a number of bombings of four mosques in the areas of Qatif, Dammam, Asir and Najran resulted in the deaths and wounding of dozens.

Bahrain also witnessed last July a suicide terrorist attack in the town of Sitra that targeted policemen during their duty killing two of them and wounding a third seriously, in addition to the injury of five police officers.

GCC Secretary General Dr Abdullaatif Al-Zayani said in a press statement after an earlier meeting of GCC foreign ministers that the GCC joint action and topics related to the development of the Gulf Cooperation and Integration will be on the agenda of the 36th summit. He said the ministers expressed their strong condemnation of the multiple terrorist attacks in the French capital Paris, which left behind a large number of innocent civilian killed and wounded.-KUNA