GENERAL ASSEMBLY SECURITY COUNCIL
Fifty-third session Fifty-fourth year
Agenda items 38, 39, 40, 67, 74 and 155
OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
ESTABLISHMENT OF A NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE
ZONE IN THE REGION OF THE MIDDLE EAST
THE RISK OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION IN
THE MIDDLE EAST
MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL
Letter dated 6 July 1999 from the Permanent Representative of the
United Arab Emirates to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
On instructions from my Government, 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 resumed seventy-first regular session, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 3 July 1999 (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 38, 39, 40, 67, 74 and 155, and of the Security Council.
Press communiqué issued by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf
Cooperation Council at its resumed seventy-first session,
held in Jeddah on 3 July 1999
On 3 July 1999 the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) resumed its seventy-first regular session, which had begun on 12 June 1999 at the seat of its secretariat in Riyadh, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Mr. Rashid Bin Abdullah al-Nuaimi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and current Chairman of the Ministerial Council. The meeting was attended by:
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain;
His Royal Highness Prince Saud al-Faisal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia;
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-Jabir al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait.
His Excellency Mr. Jamil Ibrahim al-Hegelan, GCC Secretary-General, also participated in the meeting.
The Ministerial Council reviewed developments with respect to the regional, inter-Arab and international political and security issues of concern to GCC member States.
The Council commended the boundary agreement signed by the United Arab Emirates and Oman on 2 May 1999 as a source of support for the course taken by the GCC and a concrete expression of the ties of brotherhood and affection that link the two countries. It wished the two fraternal peoples further advancement and prosperity under their inspired leaders.
The peace process in the Middle East
The Council reviewed developments in the peace process in the Middle East in the light of the results of the Israeli elections. It considered the possible repercussions of the results for a process that had been faltering because of the policies of the Likud Government and its leader, Netanyahu, policies that had repudiated the relevant United Nations resolutions as well as the agreements concluded and the obligations to which they had given rise. Renewing its total commitment to the principles established by the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, by virtue of which there had been a series of gains and achievements on the road to peace, the Council calls upon the newly elected Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, to take the steps necessary to relaunch the peace process and to return to serious and balanced negotiations with the Arab parties on all the various tracks.
The Council urged the new Israeli Government to take action to revive the peace process and to resume negotiations on all tracks. This may be conducive to the restoration of legitimate Arab rights in compliance with the principles of the Madrid Conference and in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978); to the attainment by the Palestinian people of all its legitimate national rights, including the right to establish an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital; and to full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, including withdrawal from the Syrian Golan heights to the boundary lines of 4 June 1967 and withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978) and without restrictions or conditions.
The Council condemned and deplored the repeated Israeli aerial assaults that had sought to destroy civilian installations and the infrastructure of the Lebanese Republic, had left a number of innocent civilians dead and wounded and had undermined security and stability in the region. The Council calls upon the international community and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to intervene in order to require Israel to comply with the April 1996 understanding and put an end to bellicose practices that are to be regarded as a flagrant violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions.
The Council appreciates the efforts made by the co-sponsors of the peace process as well as the declaration adopted on 25 March 1999 by the European Union at the Berlin European Council affirming the unqualified right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the option of a State. It calls upon the countries concerned to play an ever more effective role and to urge the new Israeli Government to comply with the undertakings given to the Arab side by previous Israeli governments and to resume the negotiations on the Syrian track from the point at which they were suspended in 1996, as also on the Lebanese track, with a view to achieving a comprehensive and just peace and security and stability for the region and its peoples.
The Council values the positive and constructive efforts of the co-sponsors of the peace process in the Middle East and the continued endeavours of the United States Administration for the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace. It also appreciates the role being played by the member States of the European Union and commends their declaration of 25 March 1999. The Council calls on the international community and all the parties concerned to intensify their efforts during this important and critical phase to help revive the peace process and place it back on track with a view to achieving peace and meeting the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the region.