Sahara issue: GCC stands by Morocco

Updated 21 April 2016

Sahara issue: GCC stands by Morocco

RIYADH: The GCC countries expressed total solidarity with Morocco in its dispute with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s infuriating description of Western Sahara territory as an “occupation.”
The GCC summit at Al-Diriyah Palace in Riyadh — chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman — said the bloc holds great respect and regard for the Moroccan king, his country and his people.
“This meeting is a reflection of the special and distinct relations that bind GCC member states and Morocco,” said King Salman.
Addressing King Mohammed of Morocco, King Salman reiterated the keenness of the GCC states to put their bilateral relations with Morocco at the highest levels in all spheres, including political, economic, military and security. “As we appreciate your country’s supporting stances for the causes of our countries, (we) confirm our solidarity and support for all political and security-related issues concerning your country, including the Moroccan Sahara issue,” said King Salman. “We reject in totality any act that may affect Morocco’s supreme interests.”

“As we appreciate your country’s supporting stances for the causes of our countries, (we) confirm our solidarity and support for all political and security-related issues concerning your country, including the Moroccan Sahara issue,” said King Salman. “We reject in totality any act that may affect Morocco’s supreme interests.”
“Your Majesty, I would like to stress that we pay great attention to tackle Islamic and Arab nations’ issues, including the Palestinian cause and the Syrian and Libyan crises,” said King Salman. “We are keen about Iraq’s security and stability.”
“In Yemen, we want to find a solution, in accordance with the GCC initiative, outputs of the national dialogue and Security Council Resolution No. 2216,” he said. “We hope that the talks in Kuwait would achieve progress in this regard. This meeting will unify our stance and promote our relations to best serve the interests of our countries and our peoples.”
Acknowledging the support, King Mohammed said: “The security and stability of the Gulf states is in Morocco’s interest. We have similar views on common issues which increase the depth of the ties between our nations.”
Without mentioning Ban’s name, King Mohammed said the UN chief was misled by his advisers. “The summit is not directed against any particular person, but it is aimed at defending our interests.”
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah said: “We will continue to strengthen the partnership with Morocco in light of the events experienced by the region that require unity.”
Later, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar and Foreign MInister Adel Al-Jubeir held talks.
During the meeting, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two countries. They also discussed issues of common interests.
At a press conference at the Diriyah Palace, the two ministers vowed to fight terror and extremism in the region.
Al-Jubeir said that problems in Syria, Iraq and Yemen were discussed to maintain peace and security in the region. He reiterated the Kingdom’s supportive stance on the territorial integrity of Morocco, expressing hope to find a lasting solution to the dispute over Western Sahara and attention to the issues of the regional development.
The Moroccan minister expressed his country’s full solidarity with Saudi Arabia. He also pledged his country’s fullest cooperation for the Islamic Military Coalition led by Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.  
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.


• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah.