Letter dated 13 June 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of the press communiqué issued by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council at its seventy-fifth regular session, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 3 June 2000 (see annex).
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 43, 44, 56, 73 and 79, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Fawzi Bin Abdul Majeed Shobokshi
Annex to the letter dated 13 June 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Press communiqué issued by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council
at its seventy-fifth session, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 3 June 2000
On Saturday, 3 June 2000, the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held its seventy-fifth regular session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Saud al-Faisal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia and Chairman-in-Office of the Ministerial Council. The meeting was attended by:
His Excellency Mr. Rashid Bin Abdullah al-Nuaimi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates;
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain;
His Excellency Mr. Yousef Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs of Oman;
His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabr Al Thani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar; and
His Excellency Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, First deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.
His Excellency Sheikh Jamil Ibrahim Al-Hujeilan, GCC Secretary-General, also participated in the meeting.
The Ministerial Council reviewed the results of the meetings held by a number of ministerial committees for the purpose of promoting joint action as well as the developments that had taken place with respect to political issues at the regional, inter-Arab and international levels.
The Council considered developments in the peace process in the Middle East, and it noted with regret the breakdown in negotiations on the Palestinian-Israeli and Syrian-Israeli tracks, which had again brought the peace process to a situation of deadlock.
In this context, the Council again expressed its conviction that the only explanation for the breakdown in the peace process on all tracks was the maintenance by Israel of unjustifiable positions and its failure to meet the requirements of the process while the Arab side was pursuing its commitment to peace as an irreversible strategic option. The Ministerial Council renewed its demand that influential parties, and in particular the co-sponsors of the peace process, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, as well as the European Union and its member States, should take action and make greater efforts to urge the Israelis to return to the principles endorsed by the Madrid Peace Conference so that legitimate Arab rights could be restored in implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and the principle of land for peace.
The Ministerial Council reaffirmed its well-established position that a comprehensive and just peace can only be achieved with the attainment by the Palestinian people of all its legitimate rights, including the right of the Palestine refugees to return in accordance with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) and the right to establish an independent State on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital. The Council reaffirmed its full support for the position adopted by the State of Palestine that rejects any attempts on the part of the Israeli Government to alter the demographic composition or geographical character of the occupied territories and regards such actions as being in violation of the provisions of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions. It also stressed that a comprehensive peace can only be achieved with a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Syrian Arab Golan to the boundary line as it existed on 4 June 1967.
The Ministerial Council conveyed its sincere congratulations to the President, Government and people of Lebanon on the restoration of the country’s sovereignty over its liberated territories and on the evacuation of the Israeli occupation forces from southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa. It called upon Israel to complete its withdrawal from all Lebanese territory in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). The Council stressed that it was essential that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) should perform the security functions assigned to it in southern Lebanon under resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) in order to prevent Israel from finding pretexts to hold Lebanon and Syria responsible for any security incidents that might occur and might jeopardize security, peace and stability in the region.
The Ministerial Council looks forward to the forthcoming meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Damascus Declaration countries, to be held on 5 June 2000 in Egypt, as an important contribution to joint Arab action.
The Ministerial Council gave its full endorsement to the statement adopted at the meeting held in Tadmur (Palmyra), Syrian Arab Republic, on 3 and 4 May 2000 by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic in support of the performance by UNIFIL of the security functions assigned to it under resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978).
The Council once more called upon the international community to take action to transform the Middle East region, including the Gulf, into a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The Council again affirmed that Israel must accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and submit all of its nuclear facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection regime.