Riyadh: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud yesterday called for regional unity to confront Iran and secure energy supplies and maritime channels.
“Our region today is passing through circumstances and challenges that require concerted efforts to confront them as the Iranian regime continues its aggressive actions that threaten security and stability...,” he said in his address to the 40th GCC Summit in Riyadh.
He also urged the global community to address Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
His Majesty King Hamad headed Bahrain’s delegation to the summit.
He praised the key role of the summit in ensuring regional security and underlined the crucial part played by Saudi Arabia.
The summit called for finalising legislation for regional economic integration by 2025, including financial and monetary unity, according to a final communiqué.
The statement, read by GCC Secretary General Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani, also called for boosting military and security co-operation to maintain regional security.
The Amir of Kuwait, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, said that a positive attitude was prevalent during the summit, adding that the countries are “satisfied with the positive and constructive steps that were made.”
His Majesty later attended a lunch hosted by the Saudi monarch in honour of the leaders attending the summit.
The King was earlier welcomed on arrival at Riyadh airport by King Salman, Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Dr Al Zayani.
His Majesty said, in his arrival statement, that the Riyadh Summit was an important opportunity for consultations and exchange of views among the leaders.
He stressed that the summit will be an important building block in the GCC march towards achieving the aspirations and hopes of its peoples.
His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, was at the forefront of officials who bid farewell to His Majesty when he left for Riyadh.
The King was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising his representative for charity work and youth affairs and National Security Adviser Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa; Royal Court Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa; Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa; Media Adviser Nabeel Al Hamer; Information Affairs Minister Ali Al Rumaihi; Bahrain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Shaikh Humood bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and senior officials.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said at a Press conference after the summit that stability in Lebanon, which has been rocked by more than a month of protests that forced the prime minister to resign, was “very, very important” to the kingdom.
Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said he would not “pre-judge” a conference planned this week in Paris to support Lebanon, which is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
Ahead of the summit, GCC foreign ministers held a preparatory ministerial council meeting to set the agenda for the following day.
This year’s summit comes amid heightened regional tensions following the September 14 attacks on two Saudi oil facilities and a spate of attacks on shipping in the Gulf, which have been widely blamed on Iran.
The GCC has supported Washington’s policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran through sanctions, and the region is at a heightened state of alert for further backlashes.
His Majesty returned to Bahrain last night.