GCC discusses Qatar fallout, Iran nuke plan

Foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met here Monday evening to discuss key regional issues including Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and the ongoing reconciliation initiatives between Qatar and other member states.

It was not immediately known whether the proposal to transform the GCC into a union was also discussed by the ministers.

The meeting was chaired by Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, whose country holds the GCC’s rotating presidency.

The ministers expressed hope that the negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program would yield results.

Al-Sabah said that the meeting would also discuss the Riyadh initiative to help ease tension between member countries. The assessment talks would be on the sidelines of the regular meeting, according to reports.

“Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah has expressed optimism about the results of the meeting,” said the report. Hamad Al-Mara, the GCC’s deputy secretary general for legal affairs, said that the Saudi initiative to transform the GCC into a union would possibly take some shape during the discussions.

“We hope the initiative will see the light, especially with the backing of some Gulf countries regarding the move,” Al-Mara said. Riyadh’s idea of upgrading the GCC to a union was first put forward in 2011 and supported by Bahrain.

The meeting comes a day after Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Iran amid hopes that the trip would repair strained relations between Iran and the GCC.

“Syria will be thoroughly discussed as presidential elections in that country on Tuesday due to return the embattled president Bashar Assad to power will not change the status quo.” In fact, the systematic genocide in Syria by the Assad regime has created problems for many neighboring nations, he said.

Sources say that a major problem is the growing number of Syrian refugees. Jordan’s government is requesting another $4.3 billion in international aid to help them.





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