Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince: Gulf states to remain reliable energy supplier

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Gulf countries will remain a reliable and safe energy supplier for the world, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Friday in his opening address at the 43rd Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit.

Highlighting the significance of Gulf cooperation, the Crown Prince noted that the council’s adoption of King Salman’s vision on strengthening of the GCC joint action in 2015 contributed to enhancing the GCC’s strategic role both regionally and internationally.

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“Given the significant developments in the past seven years… the Kingdom intends to present an [updated] vision that takes into consideration the geopolitical developments which influenced the region,” the Crown Prince said.

The vision will also be based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and will take into consideration the growing role of the council and the accelerated economic growth, he added.

“We are confident that our close cooperation will achieve the aspired goal,” the Crown Prince said.

The Crown Prince also reaffirmed the Kingdom’s awareness of the significance of sustainable development, noting that it will continue to pursue joint efforts to confront climate change.

“The Kingdom has [launched] several [initiatives] in this field, such as the Green Initiative and Middle East Green Initiative,” he added.

On Iran, the Crown Prince reiterated that Iran must commit to international charters and the principles of good neighborliness and respect its nuclear commitments and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In a final communique issued following the GCC’s 43rd summit held in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, the GCC reaffirmed its support to the OPEC+ decision which aims to achieve the stability of oil markets and support global economic growth.

The council also highlighted the importance of respecting the principles of sovereignty and rejected any interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

“The GCC rejects foreign interferences in Arab countries’ affairs… and rejects threats against any member [of the GCC],” it said, noting that the security of GCC countries is “indivisible.”

It also condemned Iran’s continuous support of “terrorist groups and sectarian militias” in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and other countries.

“[This behavior] threatens national Arab security, destabilizes the region and hinders the Global Coalition [to defeat] ISIS.”

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the GCC called on the international community to intervene to stop “the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.”

It also voiced its rejection of attempts to annex parts of the West Bank.

On Yemen, the GCC renewed its support for UN efforts led by Special Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg to reach a political solution in the country.

It also praised the Yemeni government’s adherence to the humanitarian truce announced by the UN, and called on the international community to pressure the Iran-backed Houthi militia to renew the truce, lift the siege on the city of Taiz, and open the humanitarian crossings there.

The council also condemned Iran’s continuous interference in the internal affairs of Yemen, and the smuggling of military experts and weapons to the Houthis.

It stressed the importance of preventing the smuggling of weapons to the Houthi militia as this “threatens the freedom of maritime navigation and global trade in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea.”

Regarding Syria, the GCC affirmed its “firm positions toward preserving the territorial integrity of Syria, respecting its independence and sovereignty over its lands, and rejecting foreign interference in its internal affairs.”

It reiterated its support for the UN efforts to support Syrian refugees and displaced people and work for their safe return to their cities and villages, and rejected any attempts to bring about demographic changes in Syria.

On Lebanon, the council reaffirmed its continuous support for Lebanon’s sovereignty, security and stability, and for the Lebanese Armed Forces.

It also stressed the importance of implementing “comprehensive structural political and economic reforms” to ensure that Lebanon overcomes its current political and economic crisis, and does not turn it into a “launching pad for terrorists or drug [dealers].”

Commenting on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the GCC said its stance on the crisis is based on the “principles of international law and the Charter of the UN, the preservation of the international system based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and non-use of force.”

It reiterated its support for mediation efforts to resolve the crisis between Moscow and Kyiv and to reach a political solution and an end to the conflict through negotiations.

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