Mideast situation – GCC final communiqué – Letter from Qatar (excerpts)

Letter dated 11 December 1996 from the Permanent Representative of Qatar

to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the final communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council at its seventeenth session, held in Doha, Qatar, from 7 to 9 December 1996.

I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 33, 53 and 151, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Nasser Bin Hamad AL KHALIFA


Permanent Representative


Final communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the

Gulf Cooperation Council at its seventeenth session,

held in Doha, Qatar, from 7 to 9 December 1996

At the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council {GCC) held its seventeenth session in Qatar from 7 to 9 December 1996 under the chairmanship of His Highness the Amir. The meeting was attended by:

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid A1 Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai;

His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard of Saudi Arabia;

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman;

His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.

The leaders of the GCC countries expressed their happiness at the recovery of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and at his restoration to good health so that the propitious course taken by the GCC may be maintained by virtue of His Highness's well-known commitment to it.

The Council expressed its gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman and to his discerning Government for the pains they had taken in performing the duties of the chairmanship of the Council during its sixteenth session.

The Council expressed its strong approval of the opening address given by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah A1 Thani, Amir of Qatar, in his capacity as Chairman of its current session. It is particularly appreciative of His Highness's call for more active cooperation among the GCC countries in all fields, including scientific and technical activities, for the establishment of joint scientific research centres, particularly in such important areas for member States as water and energy issues and international trade liberalization, and for greater scope to be accorded to the important role of the private sector in promoting the future development of the GCC.

The Council reviewed the progress achieved by cooperation in the political, military, economic, social and legal fields and in the areas of security and information. It considered the reports and recommendations submitted by the GCC Ministerial Council and Ministerial Committees, and it affirmed its determination to promote further progress on a wider and more inclusive scale in order to advance security, stability and prosperity and meet the aspirations of the peoples of member States in accordance with the purposes and principles of the GCC statute.

The Council further reviewed current political and security issues and the present situation at the regional and international levels.

The peace process in the Middle East

The Council reviewed developments in the peace process in the Middle East and the problems besetting it as a result of the Israeli Governments pursuit of policies of procrastination in implementing the agreements already concluded with the Palestinian side and its attempts to renegotiate those agreements. Those policies, together with the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation of Arab territories and the obstacles being raised to the sincere peace efforts being made by the international community, are in violation of the commitments and principles on which the peace process is based, of the relevant United Nations resolutions and of all confidence-building measures. The Council affirms its total rejection of these policies of the Israeli Government, given that they constitute a real danger that jeopardizes the chances for peace and portend a return to tension and to acts of violence. These policies may force the GCC countries to reconsider the steps taken vis-à-vis Israel in the context of the peace process. The Council renews its call to all the parties involved in the peace process, and first and foremost to the United States of America and the Russian Federation, to continue their efforts for the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace that will restore legitimate rights and lay a lasting foundation for the security, stability and prosperity of all the peoples of the region.

In the light of the resolutions adopted at the Arab Summit Conference and of the established positions taken by the GCC countries calling for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in accordance with the principle of land for peace and on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), the Council stresses that it is important and indeed essential for the peace process to continue by means of the concrete and honest fulfilment of all the agreements reached and all the undertakings given. In this connection, it urges the Israeli Government:

To discharge its obligations with regard to the agreements already concluded with the Palestinian National Authority and, in particular, to withdraw its forces from Hebron, to release the Palestinian prisoners, to lift completely the economic embargo imposed on the Palestinian areas and to resume the final-status negotiations with the Palestinian aide in all sincerity;

To withdraw fully from Jerusalem and to desist from pursuing the policies of demolishing homes, changing the character of Islamic sites and taking such measures to perpetuate the occupation in the Arab territories as the building and expansion of settlements;

To enable the Palestinian people to exercise all of its legitimate national rights, including its right to establish an independent State on its national soil;

To resume negotiations on the Syrian track from the point reached in previous rounds, and to withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Arab Golan to the boundary as it existed on 4 June 1967;

To withdraw completely from southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, and to return all occupied territory to Lebanese sovereignty in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

The Council affirms 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 régime.

The Council commends the international consensus in support of the peace process and appreciates the efforts being made by the European Union and its member States in the economic and political fields. In this context, the Council expressed its particular appreciation for the sincere efforts being made by France under the leadership of President Jacques Chirac.


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