GCC to set up unified military command

December 26, 2012 - 5:02:34 am

The Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani with other GCC leaders at the closing session of the two-day 33rd GCC Supreme Council summit in Zakhir, Bahrain, yesterday.

MANAMA: The 33rd GCC Supreme Council summit in Bahrain concluded yesterday with a decision to establish a unified military command for the Gulf region to facilitate coordination, planning and leadership for the ground, naval and air forces.

A joint communiqué issued at the end of the summit underlined the importance of joint security through the development of military capabilities and self-development of each of the GCC states.

The GCC leaders also decided to develop a common defence system “as a symbol of solidarity, determination and shared destiny.”

They also reiterated their commitment to complying with the time table for establishment of the Gulf common market and working to remove impediments to a GCC customs union.

The Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani joined other GCC leaders in the closing session of the two-day summit held in the Bahraini city of Zakhir. GCC Secretary General Dr Abdul Latif Al Zayani read out the Zakhir Declaration.

The GCC Supreme Council firmly rejected and condemned “Iran’s continuous intervention in the internal affairs of GCC countries and demanded a final and immediate halt to such practices.

The Council also rejected Iran’s continued occupation of the UAE islands Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa and supported the UAE’s claim over the islands, territorial waters, air territory, continental shelf and the economic zone of the three islands as an integral part of the UAE. 

The Council supported all possible peaceful solutions that would let the UAE recover these Islands, calling on Iran to respond to the UAE’s efforts aimed at finding a solution to the issue through direct negotiations or through the International Court of Justice.

Regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, the Council said that that it threatens not only the security and stability of the region, but also international peace and security, and demanded full compliance from Iran with International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) requirements.

The Council lauded international efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear issue through peaceful means. It also confirmed the right of states, including Iran, to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The responsibility for safety lies on the country that operates any nuclear facility, which should also take into account the preservation of the environment in the broad economic zone in the region as well as the need for full commitment to security, safety and non-proliferation standards, said the Declaration.


The Council condemned terrorist attacks that took place recently in Manama, in which a number of innocent people fell victim, and praised the constructive role the Bahraini government played in dealing with the events.

The Council welcomed the establishment of the International Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi as a centre bringing together experts and experiences of all states to fight violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.

The summit called on the international community to act “seriously and swiftly” to end massacres and human rights violations in Syria. The meeting stressed the need for providing support to the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, which was formed last November in Doha under the patronage of the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Arab League.

It hoped that the forming of the coalition would be a positive step towards uniting the international community stances on Syria, and ending the deteriorating situation there. The Council urged the international community to offer all possible aid and immediate humanitarian assistance to help Syrian people face the crisis they live in and declared its support for the UN-Arab League Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Ibrahimi.

The Council congratulated Palestine for being granted a non-member observer status by the UN General Assembly, terming the resolution as a serious step towards establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Holding Israel responsible for the legal accountability of the aggression on Gaza, the joint declaration welcomed the Egyptian-brokered cease fire agreement and called on the international community to work on securing swift delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

The declaration commended the visit of the Emir to Gaza Strip in October this year, appreciating his role in breaking the siege, offering aid and opening a number of economic and developmental projects to benefit Gazans. 

The GCC leaders lauded the Yemeni President’s decision of restructuring the Armed Forces. The Council called on all parties in Iraq to achieve a comprehensive and permanent political reconciliation that meets the aspirations of the Iraqi people, for security, stability and for preserving its Arab and Islamic identity. 

Leaders condemned the violence against Muslims in Myanmar, and the aggression against human rights and assured its support of Muslims of Myanmar and continuous aid. 

Appointing the Ministerial Council to consult with regional countries on this matter, the summit called on the international community, especially the security council to take responsibility towards this humanitarian crisis and provide necessary aid. 

The GCC leaders welcomed the invitation of the Kuwait Emir 

H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah to hold the 34th GCC Supreme Council Summit in Kuwait, in 2013.

The meeting lauded the speech delivered by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, H H King Abdullah bin Abdullaziz Al Saud in which he confirmed his commitment to the march of the member states and the transition from cooperation to the Union phase in a strong cohesive entity that meets the aspirations of GCC citizens.  Agencies 

Joint body for food, medicine planned

MANAMA: The GCC states are planning to set up a joint authority for food and medicine and are studying the establishment of a joint GCC centre for public and preventive health. 

This was announced at the closing session of the 33rd GCC Supreme Council summit which concluded in Bahrain yesterday.

The meeting also decided to implement decisions on facilitating and promoting transfer of manpower among member states and supporting national training centres, institutes and universities, and to open them to all GCC nationals under the same conditions as applicable to citizens of the country concerned.