Syria tragedy ‘must end’



KUWAIT CITY: ARAB NEWS

Published — Thursday 12 December 2013

Last update 12 December 2013 10:29 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened the GCC summit here on Tuesday with a call for an end to the “human catastrophe” in Syria.
He issued the plea in the presence of Ahmad Jarba, leader of the main opposition Syrian National Coalition. Jarba addressed the summit and called for urgent help from GCC states.
“The human catastrophe continues to unfold in Syria ... We need to double our efforts and work with the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to put an end to this human tragedy,” Sheikh Sabah said.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, who is leading the Saudi delegation, reiterated the Kingdom’s call to transform the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council into a powerful Gulf union.
“I am confident that the wisdom of Sheikh Sabah and other GCC leaders will have a big impact in making the summit a big success,” the crown prince said in an arrival statement.
He hoped that the summit’s resolutions would strengthen the organization and achieve its objectives, realizing the hopes and aspirations of GCC citizens through greater integration by becoming a union.
GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said consultations on the union are focused on achieving the objectives of the proposed union.
The GCC leaders were to discuss during the two-day summit a range of issues including the situation in Syria, ties with Iran and boosting economic cooperation between their countries.

Ties between GCC states and neighboring Iran have come under the spotlight after a landmark deal was reached last month between Tehran and world powers over its disputed nuclear program.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week toured four GCC countries, but not Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. Zarif tried to assure Gulf states that the nuclear deal was not at their expense and called for turning a new page in relations.
In his speech, Sheikh Sabah said the Gulf states had “expressed their satisfaction with the interim Geneva deal ... hoping it would succeed and lead to an everlasting agreement that would make the region peaceful.”
The summit is being staged amid differences over a proposal to upgrade the GCC into a confederation, a move Oman has publicly rejected. Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi threatened at the weekend that Muscat would pull out of the alliance if a union was announced, while Saudi Arabia, solidly backed by Bahrain, insisted it was time to move ahead.
Kuwait’s State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah told reporters talks over the union were still ongoing.
“When a consensus is reached, a special summit will be convened in Riyadh to make the announcement,” he said, ruling out a major declaration at the Kuwait meeting.
Details on the confederation proposed by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah during the GCC summit in 2011 have not been disclosed.
“Oman does not want to be a part of any measure that might be seen as directed against Iran,” Emirati political analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdullah told AFP. Muscat enjoys good relations with Tehran.
The GCC summit is also due to discuss proposed peace talks on the Syrian conflict in Geneva as well as a Kuwait 2 donors conference, both to be held next month.
Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Jarallah said the GCC summit would back taking part in the so-called Geneva 2 talks scheduled for Jan. 22 at which a transitional government in Syria is due to be discussed.
Jarallah told the official KUNA news agency on Tuesday that the summit would approve setting up a unified GCC military command.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...
JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country.More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions...
DAMMAM: A 50 percent decline in the prices of some types of fish in the Dammam Central Market was noted compared to the previous month.Fish sellers attributed this decline to an increased fish supply and fall in demand from hotels and consumers durin...
RIYADH: In a two-day operation, police arrested 343 beggars including women and children during the holy month of Ramadan.A police officer said the raid was carried out in the Salehiya district and 220 of those arrested were women from Ethiopia. “Mos...
RIYADH: The Civil Defense has rescued 105 pilgrims trapped in vehicles and buildings for various reasons since the start of Ramadan. During the first 10 days of the month, it also had to deal with 255 complaints, which included 150 accidents due to f...
RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month.As the Ramadan tent is a popular pheno...
JEDDAH: Kaddadin, or unlicensed transporters, say there is good money to be made during Ramadan especially in transporting Umrah pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah and back.During this month the number of visitors doubles or triples which means the price...
RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is lively at night following Taraweeh prayers. Nights are turned into days during the month in the industrial area where there is a large concentration of automobile workshops.The industrial areas are well illuminate...
RIYADH: The Saudi man behind the green project that ensured 3,400 trees in Khurais in the Eastern Province for a government firm has been approached by a Kuwaiti oil company for a similar project. “After learning about the project in the Eastern Prov...
RIYADH: A total of 1,300 Gambian pilgrims will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, Ambassador Omar Gibril Sallah said on Thursday.“We hope that the pilgrims will observe the fifth pillar of Islam in peace and harmony and may Allah accept th...
RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) have launched a traffic safety campaign, to reduce the number of accidents that cause disability.Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH...
JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy. The expatriates are also...
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman opened the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah on Thursday night.He was met at the airport by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman and Suleiman bin Abdullah Al-Ham...
JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry said on Friday that it thwarted a plot by terrorists to attack targets in the Kingdom.Officers from the ministry raided a house in Taif where the suspects were staying and arrested three men, seized Daesh flags, gun sile...

Stay Connected

Facebook