GCC demands deterrent UN action against Syria

Updated 11 September 2013
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GCC demands deterrent UN action against Syria

Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries renewed their calls to the UN on Tuesday to take “deterrent action” against Bashar Assad’s regime over an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of Syrians.
GCC foreign ministers also denounced the participation of foreign forces and militias in the killing of Syrian people, urging the UN to act immediately to protect Syrians and help them defend themselves.
 “The UN Security Council must assume its responsibilities,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Khalifa said at the start of a GCC ministerial meeting in Jeddah.
He urged “deterrent measures against the perpetrators of this ugly crime, for which the Syrian regime is responsible.” 
Sheikh Khaled’s statement made no mention of Russia’s latest proposal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international supervision for eventual destruction.
The surprise proposal was made on Monday and is aimed at averting punitive US strikes against the Syrian regime.
The ministers expressed their deep concern over the worsening situation in Syria and its negative impact on the region’s security and stability. They denounced the “dangerous human rights violations by Assad’s regime against his people, using all kinds of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction.”
The meeting held the regime responsible for the continuing tragedy. 
Sheikh Khaled said the Russian proposal would not end the plight of Syrians. “We’ve heard of the initiative. It’s all about chemical weapons, but doesn’t stop the bloodshed.”
A group of US senators was crafting a new measure Tuesday that ties authorization for a military strike on Syria to action by the United Nations.
The lawmakers, including allies and foes of President Barack Obama, were altering a resolution currently under debate which would green-light limited US strikes.
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said Tuesday his  country wanted to join the chemical weapons ban treaty and is ready to give other countries and the United Nations access to its arsenal.
The GCC meeting denounced the recent terrorist bombing in Bahrain and supported the measures taken by Manama to fight terrorism. It also denounced the terrorist attack on the UAE embassy in Libya.
The meeting hoped that Hassan Rowhani’s election as the president of Iran would improve GCC-Tehran ties, instill respect for the sovereignty of countries in the region and curb interference in the internal affairs of other countries. 
It urged Tehran to respond favorably to diplomatic efforts to resolve its nuclear issue peacefully.
 


Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

Updated 21 May 2019
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Bahrain says conference co-hosted with US aimed at helping Palestinians

DUBAI: Bahrain said Tuesday a peace conference it is co-hosting next month with the US is aimed at helping the Palestinians, who have criticized the kingdom for failing to consult them about the event.
The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.
The kingdom “remains supportive of the brotherly Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate rights on their land as well as establishing an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Bahrain’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.
“We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have shown little interest in the US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.
Dubbed “Peace for Prosperity,” the conference is expected to bring together leaders from several governments, civil society and the business sector.
Trump’s office said the conference was a “pivotal opportunity... to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
The Palestinians see this as offering financial rewards in exchange for accepting ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Attempts at promoting an economic normalization of the Israeli occupation of Palestine will be rejected,” Erekat said.