General view of the meeting at the Diriya Palace in the Saudi capital Riyadh during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit. Image Credit: AFP

Riyadh: Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa said that the GCC summit in Riyadh was an important opportunity to work finding the best ways to overcome the numerous challenges the alliance is confronting.

The summit is also an occasion to deal effectively with developments and changes that may threaten Gulf achievement, he said as he arrived in Riyadh.

“We affirm that our meeting, which embodies the unity of purpose and common destiny, stems from the great responsibility and vital role of the GCC at various levels,” King Hamad said.

“We look forward to the success of the summit and to important decisions to enhance the forward-looking progress of the GCC to achieve the interests of its peoples and fulfill their aspirations for further progress and prosperity.”

The Bahraini monarch lauded the strength of his country’s relations with Saudi Arabia, referring to them as “deep-rooted and fraternal” and a source of pride.

“Our relations keep on expanding steadily and continue to be anchored in the strong bonds of brotherhood and love. These relations will always be a model of cohesion and complementarity thanks to their special status.”

Bahrain has been a staunch supporter of a stronger GCC and even a union that would allow its members to form an alliance that could thwart all threats to the region.

The two countries also severed their relations with Iran in January 2016 after mobs in Tehran and in the city of Mashad attacked Saudi diplomatic missions.