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  • Ahmed Saleh

GCC leaders address challenges, reaffirm commitment to regional goals in Doha

Doha, December 05, 2023, The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) convened in the 44th session of the Supreme Council in Doha on December 5, 2023, to discuss pressing challenges in the region and affirm their commitment to noble goals, including support for just Arab and Islamic causes.

A major focus of the meeting was the leaders' deep concern and strong condemnation of the Israeli aggression against Gaza and the attacks in the West Bank, including Jerusalem and sacred Islamic and Christian sites. The leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the blatant violations of international law and humanitarian principles by Israeli forces, such as indiscriminate bombings, forced displacement of civilians, and destruction of essential infrastructure.

Acknowledging joint mediation efforts by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States that led to a humanitarian truce in Gaza, the leaders stressed the immediate need for its resumption to achieve a lasting ceasefire. They emphasized the importance of facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid, restoring essential services, and addressing the needs of the people in Gaza.

Reaffirming their solidarity with the Palestinian people, the leaders underscored ongoing support, including the Cooperation Council Programme for the Reconstruction of Gaza. They warned of the dangers of expanding conflicts and urged the international community to intervene, establish a ceasefire, and protect Palestinian civilians.

The Council reiterated its steadfast stance on the Palestinian issue, calling for an end to the occupation and supporting the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The leaders applauded Saudi Arabia's initiative, in partnership with the Arab League, the European Union, Egypt, and Jordan, to revive the peace process.

The summit recognized Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a guest, acknowledging Türkiye's support for the Palestinian cause. The leaders also expressed concern about rising racism and hatred against Arabs and Muslims worldwide, condemning attacks on Arabs and Muslims and the deliberate burning of the Holy Quran.

Addressing the negative political climate created by anti-Islamic discourse, the Council called for concerted efforts to combat racism and misinformation through political and diplomatic means. The leaders praised the growing role of GCC member states in addressing regional challenges, hosting major international events, and contributing to global peace and stability. They emphasized the significance of international dialogue, cooperation, and the development of renewable energy sources to tackle climate change.

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