INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rice Joint Statement With Gulf Cooperation Council

Published: Fri 24 Feb 2006 01:31 PM
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 23, 2006
Joint Statement With Foreign Ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council Following Meeting in Abu Dhabi
Following is the Text of the Joint Statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council following their meeting in Abu Dhabi, February 23, 2006
BEGIN TEXT:
Their Excellencies the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, GCC, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America met together in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Thursday 23rd February 2006 during the current tour of the region by the Secretary of State.
The two sides reviewed the existing relations of friendship and co-operation between the GCC member countries and the United States and expressed their satisfaction at the level which these relations have reached in various fields.
The two sides reaffirmed their constant position with regards to the denunciation of terrorism in all its forms and their support for every regional and international effort to combat it.
The two sides expressed their common interest in the achievement of stability and prosperity in the Middle East, believing that this serves the interests of both sides and reinforces international peace and stability.
The two sides discussed the situation in Iraq and emphasized the necessity for the formation of a broad-based and inclusive Iraqi Government, believing this to be a necessary requisite to guarantee the territorial unity of Iraq and its stability and sovereignty. The ministers condemned the attack on the holy places in Iraq. The ministers called on all sides to respect the sacred places of Iraq.
The two sides discussed the situation in Lebanon and affirmed their interest in supporting the political security and economic stability of the Lebanese people and in safeguarding the unity, independence and cohesion of Lebanon. For that to be achieved, the two sides stressed their belief in the necessity of all concerned parties to be committed to the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolutions No.1559, No. 1595, No.1636 as well as Resolution No. 1644 regarding the international committee of investigation, and to full co-operation with this committee.
As regards the situation in the broader Middle East, the GCC Foreign Ministers and the US Secretary of State affirmed the necessity for serious and effective action to be taken on the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, recognizing that this depends on the implementation of international resolutions, in particular with regards to the 'road map.' In this regard, the participants in the meeting noted with satisfaction the speech of the Chairman of the Palestine Authority to the opening session of the Palestinian Legislative Council on Saturday 18th February 2006 and the fact that it contained a confirmation of the commitment to the peace process and all of its requirements. They called on all parties concerned to take steps without delay on the implementation of the 'road map', leading to a two-state solution and the establishment of a democratic, peaceful and viable Palestinian state.
The two sides discussed the nuclear proliferation in the area and stressed their fears and serious concerns with regards to the dangers of this proliferation in the region, reaffirming the necessity of keeping the Gulf area free from weapons of mass destruction.
At the end of their meeting, the two sides confirmed that they share strategic common interests in the maintaining of stable energy markets and of world economic growth.
END TEXT
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ENDS

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