RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council has affirmed its friendly relations with all parties in the Russia and Ukraine crisis. It said that the best way to avoid negative repercussions was to settle the crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means in a way that met the interests of all parties.
This came in a statement delivered by the permanent representative to the UN, Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, on behalf of the member states of the GCC, during the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly vote this week on the draft resolution, “Territorial integrity of Ukraine: Defending the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Al-Wasil said: “GCC countries have been following the situation in Ukraine with great concern since its inception, and therefore the GCC countries urge all parties to exercise restraint, avoid further escalation, and adhere to peaceful ways to settle the conflict.”
He said that the GCC’s vote in favor of the resolution came within the framework of its support for commitment to the well-established principles of international law and the UN Charter and its emphasis on respect for the sovereignty of states, the principles of good neighborliness, non-use or threat of force, and peaceful resolution of disputes.
Al-Wasil expressed the hope that the GCC would continue working to reach a satisfactory solution for all parties and to avoid the negative repercussions of the crisis at the human, political and economic levels.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghanim, professor of political science at Kuwait University, told Arab News that the GCC countries must maintain their objective position on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, pointing to the Gulf position based on neutrality, pushing for a peaceful solution, and being a supportive party to the agreements, thereby revitalizing negotiations between the parties.
Dr. Hadi bin Ayedh, director of studies and research at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information, said coordination between GCC countries on external issues had “begun to harmonize somewhat,” particularly recently. This harmony would help to develop relations between the GCC states and other organizations and countries, and strengthen the Gulf’s position.
Ayedh expected Gulf moves to “play a role” in resolving the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and the visit of UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed was likely to have positive results in supporting the Gulf position and strengthening the Gulf states’ influence on international issues.
He said that Saudi efforts to contain the crisis were “a win for Saudi Arabia in particular and the Cooperation Council in general.” He called the Saudi role in economic issues “pivotal, important and influential,” and said that this role was reflected positively in political decisions.