Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, takes part in the meeting of the GCC Ministerial Council, held at the headquarters of the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in New York. Image Credit: WAM

New York: The GCC Ministerial Council firmly denounced terrorism and extremism during a meeting of GCC foreign ministers on Monday at the Saudi Arabia mission headquarters in New York, ahead of the General Assembly.

During their meeting, the ministers rejected Iran’s continuous interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

The ministers accused Iran of smuggling weapons, training terrorists and fuelling sectarian strife in Bahrain. It lauded efforts made by Bahrain’s security agencies in thwarting terrorist plots.

The ministers reiterated their rejection of the continued Iranian occupation of the three islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which constitute an integral part of the United Arab Emirates’ territory.

The council slammed Iran’s attempts to politicise Haj and congratulated Saudi Arabia on the success of this year’s pilgrimage commending King Salman’s efforts the safety of pilgrims.

The ministers condemned a string of suicide bombings that hit Saudi Arabia in the Holy Month of Ramadan and affirmed that it made the right decision to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The council also commended the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s agreement on the establishment of a coordination council between the two countries.

They also expressed their deep concern over the US Congress issuance of the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ which is contrary to the established principles of the international law and encouraged Congress to vote against it. The meeting stressed the need for a comprehensive solution for the Palestine issue and said this can only be achieved after the complete withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The ministers stressed their keenness on Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity and slammed crimes committed by Shiite militias in areas liberated from Daesh control.

The meeting rejected assassination threats made towards the Saudi ambassador of Iraq and said Baghdad was responsible for his safety.

On Yemen, the ministers called for a political solution to the crisis and welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s lifting of the Arab Coalition from the list of entities responsible for violence against children in Yemen.