GCC slams Syrian elections as ‘farce’
GCC slams Syrian elections as ‘farce’
They dismissed the vote as a way for President Bashar Assad to stay in power and prolong the country’s bloody three-year conflict.
The final communiqué released after the GCC ministerial meeting here Monday night said that holding the elections and the resulting nomination of Assad would “undermine Arab and international efforts to solve the ongoing crisis.”
The Saudi delegation to the GCC ministerial meeting was led by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, deputy minister of foreign affairs.
A GCC official said that “no credible vote can be held in Syria when several regions of the country are outside state control and millions of people have left the country to live as refugees.”
The GCC also stressed the importance of turning war criminals in Syria over to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The foreign ministers expressed concerns over the Russian and Chinese “vetoes against any UN Security Council draft resolution regarding the Syrian issue.”
The GCC foreign ministers also urged the international community to take strong punitive action against Syria because Assad’s actions pose a direct threat to the security of neighboring countries.They also called on the P-5+1 group of nations to ensure that Iran scales down its uranium enrichment program.
In his opening speech at the GCC ministerial meeting, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s foreign minister, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the GCC, urged the international community to “take measures to protect unarmed citizens and to ensure delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syrian citizens in besieged areas.”
Sabah said the GCC countries were looking forward to Iranian talks on a host of regional issues including Syria to ensure “security and stability” in the region. On the Palestinian issue, he reaffirmed the GCC support for a viable Palestine state.
On Egypt, Sabah praised the government there for holding successful elections and hoped that the country’s strategic role would be enhanced regionally and internationally.
The meeting was attended by Omani Foreign Minister Yousef bin Alawi, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah. Abdullateef Al-Zayani, the GCC secretary general, also attended the session.
King Salman’s support vital to national heritage achievements
- The Saudi leadership made key decisions to protect antiquities and historical sites
- Saudi Arabia aims to conduct awareness campaigns, establish museums and develop them in a modern way to attract citizens and visitors
JEDDAH: The achievements made in Saudi Arabia’s national heritage sector, and the prizes and awards that have been won as result, are thanks to the support and efforts of King Salman, said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
His comments came as the king received the Sharjah International Award for Cultural Heritage, which was awarded in recognition of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques cultural heritage program.
King Salman oversaw the creation of the antiquities and heritage sector 50 years ago and stood firmly against the elimination or extinction of archaeological and heritage sites, Prince Sultan said, and has made historical and important decisions to protect antiquities since the era of the late King Saud.
This support culminated in the adoption of the innovative Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques for the Care of Cultural Heritage program, implemented by the commission to bring about a qualitative shift in projects and programs devoted to national cultural heritage.
Prince Sultan said: “The award is a result of King Salman’s follow-up and support to the program, which the SCTH and our team have translated into projects and initiatives carried out in cooperation with highly professional partners, in order to preserve, restore and develop the national heritage and make it a reality that connects citizens to their country’s history and heritage.”
He said the SCTH has built upon the great efforts of the institutions that preceded it in taking care of the nation’s antiquities, as well as individual efforts to preserve national heritage.
“Today, we reap the fruits of these efforts: The culture we have learnt from King Salman and previous leaders, which has taught us to complete the work and loyalty of all those who built and achieved before us,” he said.
Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, a member of the Federal Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah, announced that the Sharjah International Award for Cultural Heritage had been awarded to the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Program for the Care of Cultural Heritage during a ceremony on April 22, 2018.
The program aims to protect, promote and develop cultural heritage and make it part of the life and memory of citizens. It also conducts awareness campaigns, establishes museums and develops them in a modern way to attract citizens and visitors, prepares Islamic historical sites to welcome visitors, and preserves culturally important buildings and towns to showcase the role of the Kingdom as a crossroads for civilizations through the ages and achieve a qualitative shift in the field, contributing to economic growth.