GCC Leaders Meet in Doha, Stress Need for Truce in Gaza

A handout picture provided by the UAE Presidential Court shows Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C-L) and Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-R) posing for a group picture with Gulf leaders and officials meeting in Doha on December 5, 2023. From L to R: The Secretary General of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed al-Budaiwi, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, the Qatari leader, Türkiye's president, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. (UAE Presidential Court / AFP)
A handout picture provided by the UAE Presidential Court shows Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C-L) and Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-R) posing for a group picture with Gulf leaders and officials meeting in Doha on December 5, 2023. From L to R: The Secretary General of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed al-Budaiwi, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, the Qatari leader, Türkiye's president, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. (UAE Presidential Court / AFP)
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GCC Leaders Meet in Doha, Stress Need for Truce in Gaza

A handout picture provided by the UAE Presidential Court shows Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C-L) and Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-R) posing for a group picture with Gulf leaders and officials meeting in Doha on December 5, 2023. From L to R: The Secretary General of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed al-Budaiwi, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, the Qatari leader, Türkiye's president, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. (UAE Presidential Court / AFP)
A handout picture provided by the UAE Presidential Court shows Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C-L) and Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C-R) posing for a group picture with Gulf leaders and officials meeting in Doha on December 5, 2023. From L to R: The Secretary General of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed al-Budaiwi, Kuwait's Foreign Minister Salem Abdullah al-Jaber al-Sabah, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, the Qatari leader, Türkiye's president, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and the United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. (UAE Presidential Court / AFP)

Gulf leaders stressed on Tuesday the need for the truce to be reinstate in Gaza, leading to a sustainable ceasefire and the delivery of aid for the Palestinian people.

Qatar hosted the 44th session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The leaders discussed the critical and dangerous challenges facing the region, especially the Israeli attack on Gaza and the West Bank, including the city of Jerusalem and Islamic and Christian holy sites.

They expressed deep concern and great dissatisfaction with the “blatant Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, and condemned the escalation of acts of violence and indiscriminate bombing carried out by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.”

They slammed “the forced displacement of the civilian population, and the destruction of civilian facilities and infrastructure, including residential buildings, schools, health facilities and places of worship, in clear violation of international law and international humanitarian law.”

They praised the joint mediation efforts by Qatar, Egypt and the United State, which resulted in reaching an agreement for a humanitarian truce in Gaza.

They stressed the need for “immediately resuming this humanitarian truce to achieve a complete and sustainable ceasefire and ensure the arrival of all humanitarian and relief aid and basic needs, the resumption of the work of electricity and water lines, and the entry of fuel, food and medicine for the residents of Gaza.”

The GCC stands by the brotherly Palestinian people and continues its support to alleviate the suffering of the residents of Gaza, declared a statement after the summit.

It highlighted the aid the Gulf has been extending to Gaza since 2009.

In 2009, the GCC countries established the “Cooperation Council Program for the Reconstruction of Gaza”. They pledged $1,646,000,000 billion, as well as direct bilateral aid, both in kind and financial, and unofficial aid. The most recent of which was the pledge in October of an additional amount of $100 million for humanitarian efforts, in addition to popular campaigns that mobilized hundreds of millions of US dollars to support the Palestinian people.

The Gulf leaders warned of the danger of the expansion of the Gaza conflict in the region if Israel continues its aggression.

The spillover will have “dire consequences on the peoples of the region and international peace and security,” they added.

They called on the international community to intervene to establish a ceasefire and protect Palestinian civilians, and “take the necessary measures in line with international law to respond to Israel’s practices and its policy of collective punishment against the defenseless residents of Gaza.”

The Supreme Council reiterated its firm stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, demanding an end to the occupation and supporting the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over all the occupied Palestinian territories.

It underlined the need for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, guaranteeing the rights of refugees according to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and international resolutions. The Council stressed the need to double the efforts of the international community to resolve the conflict in a way that fulfills all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Moreover, the Council commended Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts and its initiative in partnership with the Arab League, European Union, Egypt, and Jordan to revive the peace process in accordance with international law, United Nations resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The leaders welcomed the extraordinary Arab-Islamic summit hosted by Saudi Arabia on November 11 that was aimed at discussing the situation in Gaza.

They praised the efforts of the ministerial committee formed by the summit with the aim of “formulating an international movement to stop the war on Gaza and exert pressure for a genuine and serious political process to achieve permanent and comprehensive peace, in accordance with the recognized international references.”

The Gulf leaders welcomed the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a guest at the Supreme Council, which witnessed discussions on ways to enhance cooperation between the Gulf and Ankara. They also tackled issues of common interest, particularly the Palestinian issue and the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

The Supreme Council praised the role played by Erdogan and the Turkish government and people for their support for the Palestinian cause and people.

Furthermore, the Council expressed concern about the rising racism and hatred against Arabs and Muslims in several countries, as well as the alarming spread of anti-Islamic discourse, which has created a negative political climate in international relations. They condemned the burning of the Holy Quran and the increasing deliberate attacks on Arabs and Muslims.

The Council emphasized the importance of concerted efforts to confront this phenomenon through political and diplomatic channels.



GCC: Forum on Security, Regional Cooperation is an Opportunity to Promote Dialogue with EU

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi
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GCC: Forum on Security, Regional Cooperation is an Opportunity to Promote Dialogue with EU

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi said that the High-Level Forum on Security and Regional Cooperation between the EU and the GCC, to be held on Monday in Luxembourg, is an opportunity to enhance dialogue, and to strengthen coordination on issues related to regional and global stability, and security.

The forum will be chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Chairman of the current session of the Ministerial Council Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell.

Senior officials and the foreign ministers of the GCC and EU states will attend.

Al Budaiwi stressed that by working to strengthen bilateral relations and develop new cooperation mechanisms, the two parties will reach common viewpoints on many issues.


Kuwait PM to Serve as Emir's Deputy if Emir is Abroad

An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
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Kuwait PM to Serve as Emir's Deputy if Emir is Abroad

An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo

Kuwait's Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah will serve as the Emir's deputy when the latter is not in the country, state news agency (KUNA) said on Sunday citing a royal decree.

Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah has yet to choose a Crown Prince.

Sunday’s Emiri decree states that the designation would remain valid until the naming of a Crown Prince, and that the Prime Minister should comply with the order and inform the National Assembly.

The Emiri order takes effect once published in the official gazette.


Saudi Grand Mufti Urges Utilizing Technology for Islamic Authorities’ Coordination

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
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Saudi Grand Mufti Urges Utilizing Technology for Islamic Authorities’ Coordination

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, has highlighted the adaptability of Islamic law in addressing contemporary issues and stressed the increasing responsibility of Islamic scholars amid technological advancements.

Speaking at the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Al-Sheikh stressed the importance of Islamic scholars tackling modern challenges.

The Grand Mufti emphasized the need for rigorous research, encouraging the use of technology to enhance collaboration among religious authorities.

The gathering, led by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, included scholars from across the Muslim world.

The assembly aimed to address contemporary issues faced by Muslims and minorities and issue rulings on them.

These rulings will be translated into various languages and shared through media channels to clarify Islamic principles and showcase the adaptability of Islamic jurisprudence.

The opening session emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among scholars and religious bodies to tackle emerging challenges and promote societal stability and happiness.

Secretary-General of the MWL Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa highlighted the assembly’s focus on contemporary legal issues and the preceding research conducted by distinguished scholars.

Al-Issa stressed that it’s crucial for top Islamic scholars to tackle new challenges as part of their scholarly duties.

He emphasized the need for thorough research and interpretation to clarify the legal rulings, aligning with religious responsibilities.

Al-Issa also highlighted the importance of showing that Islamic jurisprudence can handle any emerging issues.

He noted that the Islamic Fiqh Council is the oldest of its kind in Islamic history, and membership is based on academic merit.

The MWL chief reiterated that the assembly has gained trust over its long history and its contributions are highly regarded and discussed in academic and research circles.

Hissein Ibrahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia hosting this significant meeting of top religious figures and scholars from the Islamic world.

He emphasized Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting positive trends and safeguarding the Muslim community from various challenges.

Taha stressed the need for contemporary scholarship to keep the Islamic world aligned with global developments. He praised the unity among Islamic scholars from different countries, emphasizing their collective service to their faith.


Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Signs Two MoUs with Colombian Counterpart

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
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Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Signs Two MoUs with Colombian Counterpart

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados, signed two memorandums of understanding on Friday in the Colombian capital, Bogota, the Saudi Press Agency said.
The memorandums of understanding will see academic cooperation between the two countries and political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two friendly countries.
After the signing ceremony, El-Khereiji and the Colombian Foreign Minister held a meeting and reviewed the bilateral relations and emphasized the importance of developing them in various fields.
The signing ceremony was attended by Acting Charge d'Affaires of the Saudi Embassy in the Republic of Colombia, Mohammed Al-Shatri, the Director General of the Vice Minister’s Office, Mutashar Al-Enezi, and Acting Foreign Minister of Colombia, Gilberto Murillo.


OIC Regrets Security Council's Failure to Accept Full UN Membership for Palestinian State

Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
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OIC Regrets Security Council's Failure to Accept Full UN Membership for Palestinian State

Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed on Friday its profound disappointment with the UN Security Council's decision to deny Palestine full UN membership.

The OIC strongly condemned the United States’ use of its veto power, which is a clear violation of the UN Charter and a major obstacle to the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

It also reiterated its unwavering support for Palestine's right to full political and legal representation at the UN, a right long denied, and emphasized that recognizing the State of Palestine as a full UN member is essential to achieving peace and stability in the region, and paving the way for a viable two-state solution.

The OIC commended the countries that voted in favor of the draft resolution and urged those that voted against or abstained to reconsider their positions and align them with their obligations under international law, the UN Charter, and the relevant UN resolutions.

It said it views the Security Council’s failure to grant Palestine full membership as a continuation of the decades-long injustice toward the Palestinian people, calling on the international community to take immediate action to end this injustice once and for all.


GCC: Failure to Recognize Full UN Membership for Palestinians Does Not Help Achieve Peace

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.
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GCC: Failure to Recognize Full UN Membership for Palestinians Does Not Help Achieve Peace

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassim Mohammed Al-Budaiwi emphasized on Friday the GCC’s firm position in support of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state according to the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He urged the international community to work decisively and without delay to ensure the recognition of the State of Palestine and grant the Palestinian people their basic and legitimate rights in line with UN resolutions and international law.

Al-Budaiwi said the US veto of the Palestinian membership application to the UN is a step backward in the efforts to achieve just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

He stressed that the UN Security Council must take serious steps to re-evaluate international mechanisms concerning peace, to ensure that peoples’ rights are respected and regional and global security and stability are safeguarded.

He stressed that all countries and international organizations must stand by justice and support efforts to restore rights and build a better future for all the peoples of the region and the world.


Muslim World League Expresses Deep Regret over Obstructed Palestinian UN Membership

A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
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Muslim World League Expresses Deep Regret over Obstructed Palestinian UN Membership

A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)

The Muslim World League (MWL) voiced on Friday its profound disappointment at the failure to grant Palestine full membership in the United Nations.

In a statement, the MWL said this was a severe setback that deepens the suffering of Palestinians and emboldens Israel to continue its abuses.

The decision is a significant obstacle to achieving a fair and enduring peace in the region, it warned. Additionally, it strengthens Israel's oppressive practices against the Palestinian people.

The MWL reiterated its demand that the international community shoulder its responsibility to stop Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza.

Additionally, it called for backing the Palestinians' self-determination and the creation of a sovereign Palestinian nation within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem serving as its capital.


UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 
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UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

The United Arab Emirates expressed on Friday its deep concern over ongoing regional tensions, calling for refraining from any steps that further exacerbate escalation in the region.

In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the UAE called for exercising the utmost restraint in order to avoid serious repercussions, and the region being pulled into new levels of instability.

The Ministry underlined the importance of reaching substantial solutions to the ongoing disputes and crises in the region aimed at de-escalating tensions, in addition to resolving conflicts through dialogue and diplomatic channels, and for respecting the rule of law and United Nations Charter.

The Ministry reiterated its call on the UN and UN Security Council to fulfill their responsibilities to boost international peace and security by resolving long-standing issues and conflicts in the region that threaten global security and stability.

Earlier, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a telephone phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to discuss the latest, dangerous developments in the region and their repercussions on the regional and international peace and security.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of exercising the utmost self-restraint and working to prevent the expansion of the circle of tension in the Middle East, pointing out that diplomacy and dialogue are the only way to resolve differences and ensure the security of the region and the safety of its people.

He said peace, prosperity and development are what the countries of the region should enjoy and deserve.

In addition, the top diplomats discussed bilateral relations between their countries and ways to strengthen them in a way that serves the common interests of their countries and the region.


UAE’s Etihad Airways Says Operations are Back to Normal

FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
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UAE’s Etihad Airways Says Operations are Back to Normal

FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways' flight operations are back to normal after the harsh weather conditions in the United Arab Emirates over recent days, the airline told state news agency (WAM) on Friday.
The UAE saw its heaviest rains in 75 years bringing much of the country to a standstill for two days.
The storm, which hit neighboring Oman on Sunday, pounded the UAE on Tuesday. Eighteen persons were reported dead in Oman.
A couple of days earlier, the UAE’s National Center for Meteorology urged people to take the necessary precautions while driving their vehicles and to steer away from roads that could be blocked by flood waters.


Saudi Arabia Expresses Regret over UN Failure to Recognize Palestinian State through Membership

Saudi Arabia Expresses Regret over UN Failure to Recognize Palestinian State through Membership
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Saudi Arabia Expresses Regret over UN Failure to Recognize Palestinian State through Membership

Saudi Arabia Expresses Regret over UN Failure to Recognize Palestinian State through Membership

Saudi Arabia expressed regret on Friday over the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution accepting full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations.
The Ministry said that “hindering the acceptance of full membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations only contributes to the entrenchment of the Israeli occupation’s obstinacy and to its continued violations of international law with impunity, and will not bring closer the desired peace”.
The Ministry renewed Saudi Arabia’s call on the international community to assume its responsibility and stop the Israeli occupation’s aggression on civilians in the Gaza strip.
It also called for backing the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of the Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and related international resolutions.