In the Name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
My Brother, Your Majesty,
Brothers, Your Highnesses,
Your Excellency The Secretary General,
At the outset, it gives me pleasure to welcome you in your country and among your kinsfolk, and convey to you the greetings of the people of Qatar who hold for you and your brotherly peoples the sincerest sentiments of cordiality and fraternity.
It is an auspicious day that we meet here together in your country, Qatar, which looks forward with deep appreciation to this meeting and to the realization of further joint action to the benefit of the GCC countries and peoples.
On this occasion, I am pleased to laud the distinguished role and sincere efforts exerted by my dear Brother, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed of Oman, during his chairmanship of the previous session of the Higher Council, and the following up of its decisions which had the best effect in realizing the objectives targeted by the Council. So, thank you, Your Majesty.
The extraordinary circumstances, known to all of us, during which our summit meeting is being held, and which require the rallying of our efforts and agreement on the joint policies needed to counter them, strengthens our sustained conviction that our Gulf Cooperation Council is the suitable formula and the proper frame through which our Gulf countries and societies could work to foster their security and stability and achieve their peoples ambitions and aspirations.
While we are very proud of our Gulf Cooperation Council and while we appreciate what it has achieved, we believe that it is high time to expand the scope of its work and improve the performance of its institutions through constructive dialogue to enable the Council to reach the point which we and our peoples aspire, namely raising cooperation to the level of integration, particularly in the vital domains, the effects of which are directly reflected on the citizen's interests and livelihood, so that the citizen of each Gulf member state could reap the benefits and advantages of joint cooperation, which would then become for him an indispensable everyday reality.
We have to realize that our responsibilities, contributions and efforts in the march of our joint action among the Council’s member states should never be affected by any differences in viewpoints and opinions in our bilateral relations.
I am quite sure that all of us, peoples as well as governments, are resolved to achieve these aims, with God’s help, at the earliest possible.
What preoccupies all of us now is the formulation of the personality of the Gulf citizen to enable him to meet the requirements of modern times, and contribute to the promotion of its rules, values, sciences and technologies. This, in turn, requires focusing on scientific and technological excellence, the ability to solve complicated problems and dealing flexibly with the contemporary issues, while maintaining our Arab and Islamic identity and adhering to the values of justice, tolerance and cooperation.
We all realize that education and the educational system is the prime means to achieve the objective of raising the human being. Also, the progress of any society is measured by its ability to improve its educational institutions. Our Gulf institutions should apply and try modern curricula and new forms of education while paying attention to the sciences of our era. We have to give these institutions the independence to release the creative faculties, build clear bridges between the different educational systems and adopt international standards for the evaluation of the outputs of our educational system.
We hope, with the collaboration of all Gulf institutions, to raise the GCC citizen to the level which enables him to participate in the process of development, production of knowledge and to shoulder responsibility inside and outside his homeland. We have to double our efforts to advance our societies in the various economic, social and educational fields. I believe that popular participation is one of the most important factors to achieve the aspired progress.
The persistence of the weak and deteriorating Arab situation as it is today is threatening Arab national security with the gravest dangers. As Arab leaders, we urgently need to review our present conditions with all honesty and candidness, to arrive at a new Arab strategy that would secure the minimum level of Arab solidarity and joint Arab action, and adopt a unified stance to face up to the threats and challenges that confront us. There is the tragic situation in Palestine, where the Arab world, unfortunately, stands helpless while the Israeli occupation forces continue their aggressive practices against the Palestinian people and their leadership in a grave escalation of the situation in the region, which jeopardizes world peace and security and makes the peace to which the people of the region aspire unattainable. If the facts drawn from the history of this conflict and its developments confirm the impossibility of a military solution, the Israeli escalation, on the contrary, shows that Israel has chosen the use of force instead of negotiations on the basis of resolutions of international legality which call for the withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories up to the lines of the 4th of June 1967 and the regaining of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, foremost of which is establishing their independent state on their national soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.
As regards the Iraqi crisis and its current developments, we view it by focusing on the necessity of settling it through peaceful means within the framework of the relevant U.N. resolutions. That is why we have expressed satisfaction at Iraq’s acceptance of the U.N. Security Council resolution No. 1441, which represents an important step towards solving the problem through the United Nations. While welcoming the cooperation shown by Iraq to the international inspectors' mission, we request that international inspection teams perform their tasks objectively and impartially, and call upon the international community to exert all efforts that would facilitate completing this mission as soon as possible. We stress on the necessity of maintaining the independence and territorial integrity of Iraq and non-interference in its internal affairs. Equally enough, Iraq must implement its obligations in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions to pave the way for lifting the sanctions and putting an end to the suffering of its brotherly people. At the same time, we stress our fundamental and firm position on the respect of the sovereignty and security of the State of Kuwait, its territorial integrity, and non-interference in its internal affairs.
Out of its belonging to the Gulf region, our Council seeks to consolidate the pillars of security and stability in our region according to firm fundamentals based on the principles of good neighborliness, respect of the sovereignty of each state and its territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs. Hence we view with optimism the contacts between the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and hope that they would result in positive steps contributing to reaching a solution to the issue of the Emirates three islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, which will in turn enhance security, stability and prosperity of the region and its peoples.
As Arab and Muslim states, our Gulf states have not been detached from the repercussions of the 9/11 events in the United States of America, which necessitate careful consideration of their dimensions and intensive inquiring into their causes and effects.
We are against terrorism in all its forms, methods and targets. Islam is free from terrorism; it is the religion of tolerance, compassion, moderation and openness among all mankind. Moreover, the Arab Islamic civilization is a vital, influential and integral part of world civilization and human heritage.
In conclusion, I would like to extend sincere thanks and appreciation to the Ministerial Council, the Permanent Ministerial Committees and His Excellency the Secretary-General, his assistants and the General Secretariat for their great efforts in the preparation and arrangement for this session.
I beseech the Almighty God to bestow success on our deliberations and guide us to the good and benefit of our peoples and future generations.
May the peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you