LETTER DATED 6 JANUARY 1998 FROM THE PERMANENT
REPRESENTATIVE OF KUWAIT TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the final communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council at its eighteenth session, held in Kuwait from 20 to 22 December 1997.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Mohammad A. ABULHASAN
Final communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf
Cooperation Council at its eighteenth session, held in
Kuwait from 20 to 22 December 1997
At the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held its eighteenth session in Kuwait from 20 to 22 December 1997 under the chairmanship of His Highness the Amir. The meeting was attended by:
His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates;
His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Amir of Bahrain;
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; and
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani, Amir of Qatar.
His Excellency Sheikh Jamil Ibrahim al-Hegelan, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, also participated in the meeting.
The Supreme Council reviewed the progress made in cooperation and joint action in the political, security, military, economic, social and legal fields since its seventeenth session. It considered the reports and recommendations submitted by the GCC Ministerial Committees and the Ministerial Council, and it affirmed its sincere desire to promote the worthy goals enshrined in the GCC Statute and to make further progress on a wider and more comprehensive scale in order to keep pace with changes at the regional and international levels and meet the aspirations of the GCC member States and their peoples for security, stability and prosperity in the region.
The peace process in the Middle East
The Council considered the peace process in the Middle East and its suspension as a result of the Israeli Government's failure to discharge the obligations imposed on it by the interim agreements concluded with the Palestinians and of the adoption of unilateral measures that pre-empt the final-status negotiations. These measures include the building and expansion of settlements, the expropriation of Palestinian land, the imposition of an economic embargo on Palestinian citizens and the curtailment of opportunities for economic development in the Palestinian territory, all of which are incompatible with the spirit of the peace process, the principles on which it was based and the provisions of the agreements concluded within its framework.
The Council expresses its unconditional rejection of such policies and practices on the part of the Israeli Government, and it urges it to discharge all of its obligations under the agreements concluded with the Palestine Liberation Organization and, primarily, to carry out the redeployment in the West Bank in all its stages and begin the final-status negotiations with the Palestinians. This will bring about a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and will enable the Palestinian people to exercise all of its legitimate national rights, including the right to establish an independent State on its national soil with its capital at Jerusalem. The Council further urges the Israeli Government to resume negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks from the point reached in the previous rounds. It calls for Israel's complete withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Arab Golan to the boundary line of 4 June 1967 in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), for its complete withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, and for all occupied Lebanese territory to be restored to Lebanese sovereignty in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
The Council appreciates the efforts made by the United States Administration in support of the peace process in the Middle East, as well as those of the Russian Federation, and it calls upon the co-sponsors to maintain and strengthen their role in promoting the resumption of the negotiations on all tracks and the restoration of the peace process to its normal and proper course.
The Council commends the international consensus in support of the maintenance of the peace process in the Middle East, of the need to fulfil existing commitments and of the resumption of negotiations on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions and the principle of land for peace with a view to achieving a just and comprehensive peace. In this connection, the Council appreciates the efforts made by the European Union and its member States and the political and economic support they provide to the Palestinian National Authority.