Iran, Syria top GCC’s Riyadh meeting agenda

GCC foreign ministers will meet in Riyadh on Monday.

Key regional issues, including the elusive Iranian nuclear deal and the worsening situation in Syria, will top the agenda of the GCC foreign ministers’ meeting in Riyadh on Monday.

“This important GCC ministerial council session will be chaired by Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s deputy premier and foreign minister,” said Abdullateef Al-Zayani, GCC secretary-general, on Saturday.

The meeting, which will also discuss points of disagreement and a possible final settlement of the disputes between Qatar and three member states from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has been convened at a time when foreign ministers from world powers, including the United States and Europe, are struggling to nail down a nuclear deal with Iran.

Talks in Geneva to finalize the nuclear deal with Iran went late into an unscheduled fourth day on Saturday without any conclusion.

The inconclusive talks have led a US official to announce that US Secretary of State John Kerry will be flying to London on Sunday morning, presumably with or without a deal.

“The meeting is significant keeping in view the fast-changing political situation in the GCC, as well as in the Middle East region,” one source told Arab News.

The meeting comes a day after Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah flies to Iran amid hopes that the trip will repair strained relations between Iran and the GCC bloc as a whole.

The systematic genocide in Syria by the Assad regime has created problems for many neighboring nations. One complex problem is how to deal with the growing number of Syrian refugees.

Jordan’s government is requesting another $4.3 billion in international aid to weather the spillover from the Syrian crisis next door. The country expects to host between 800,000 and one million Syrian refugees by the end of 2014.

This 131st meeting of the GCC foreign ministers will also discuss strategic dialogues between the GCC states, economic ties, human rights issues, environment, health care and cultural cooperation.





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