Sheikh Mohamed and members of the UAE delegation at the GCC Summit in Doha on Decmber 5, 2023. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation on Tuesday condemned the escalation of violence and indiscriminate bombing by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, forced displacement of the civilian population, and destruction of civilian facilities and infrastructure, including residential buildings, schools, health facilities and places of worship violating international laws.

The leaders, who met in Doha, appreciated the joint mediation efforts of Qatar, Egypt and the US that resulted in reaching an agreement for a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, stressing the necessity of immediately resuming humanitarian truce to achieve a complete and sustainable ceasefire, and to ensure the arrival of all humanitarian and relief aid and basic needs, the resumption of the work of electricity and water lines, and the entry of fuel, food and medicine for the residents of Gaza.

Also read

Helping hand in rebuilding effort

Expressing deep concern and great dissatisfaction with blatant Israeli aggression, the summit affirmed its continued support to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians and the residents of the Gaza Strip, and to extend a helping hand to rebuild what the Israeli war machine destroyed in its attacks.

The leaders warned of the dangers of expanding confrontations and the spread of the conflict, unless the Israeli aggression stops, which will lead to dire consequences for the peoples of the region and for international peace and security. The c council called on the international community to intervene to establish a ceasefire and protect Palestinian civilians, and take the necessary measures within international law to respond to Israel’s practices and its policy of collective punishment against the defenceless residents of Gaza.

From right: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey President, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, Sayyed Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs of Oman, Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and Jasem Mohammed Al Budaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), during the 44th session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Doha on December 5, 2023.. Image Credit: WAM

Demand to end occupation

The summit reaffirmed its firm stance on the Palestinian issue, demanding an end to the occupation and supporting the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over all the Palestinian territories occupied since June 1967.

It also emphasised the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, guaranteeing the rights of refugees according to the Arab Peace Initiative and international legitimacy resolutions. The Council stressed the need to double the efforts of the international community to resolve the conflict in a way that fulfills all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

From right: Sheikh Mohamed with King Hamad Bin Eisa and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the summit on Tuesday. Image Credit: WAM

2002 peace initiative

The council commended the ongoing efforts of Saudi Arabia and its initiative in partnership with the Arab League, the European Union (EU), Egypt, and Jordan to revive the peace process in accordance with international law, United Nations resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.

Erdogan’s role commended

The leaders welcomed the participation of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a guest. The GCC commended the role of Erdogan, the Turkish government, and Turkish people for their support for the Palestinian cause.

Racism and hatred

The leaders expressed concern over the escalating manifestations of racism and hatred against Arabs and Muslims in several countries, as well as the alarming spread of anti-Islamic discourse, which has created a negative political climate in international relations.

The GCC condemned the burning of the Holy Quran and the increasing attacks on Arabs and Muslims, targeting them deliberately.

The Council emphasised the importance of concerted efforts to confront this phenomenon politically and diplomatically, strengthening international efforts to combat racism against Arabs and Muslims, supporting relevant regional and international frameworks to address this issue, and working on a new approach to collective cooperation to confront and counter misconceptions and misleading information in the media, as well as anti-Islamic social attitudes.