Manama: The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council are scheduled to meet newly-appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry as he makes his second trip to an Arab capital as secretary of state following his stop in Cairo.
“I look forward to meeting Mr John Kerry in Riyadh on Monday,” Bahraini foreign minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, whose country is the current chair of the six-member alliance posted on his Twitter account. “There will be a group meeting with the GCC states followed by a Bahraini-US bilateral meeting.”
Shaikh Khalid described Kerry, whom he met in several previous meetings, as a capable diplomat and a friend of Bahrain.
“He is well versed in the aspects and issues of the region and I look forward to working with him for the interests of our two countries,” he posted on the microblog where he has 131,252 followers.
Last month, the State Department said that Kerry would travel to Riyadh “to meet with the Saudi leadership and discuss our cooperation on a broad range of shared concerns”.
“He will also participate in a ministerial meeting with counterparts from Gulf Cooperation Council nations. He will then visit Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, AE to meet with senior officials and discuss our continued close coordination on issues of mutual interest. The Secretary will conclude his trip in Doha, Qatar, where he will meet with Qatari leadership to discuss shared bilateral and regional issues of concern such as the ongoing crisis in Syria, Afghanistan, and Middle East peace.”
Strategic talks between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and international economic blocs will figure high on the agenda of GCC foreign ministers when they meet on Saturday, the GCC chief said.
Abdul Lateef Al Zayani, the GCC secretary general, said that the ministers will also discuss issues related to the council and the latest regional, Arab and international developments.
The meeting in Riyadh, the 126th since the establishment of the council in 1981, will be chaired by Bahrain’s foreign minister Shaikh Khalid.
It will be the ministers’ first meeting after the GCC summit held in December in Bahrain agreed to set up a unified military command.
The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.