A Gulf ministerial meeting in the presence of the foreign ministers of Iraq and Yemen underlined the importance of easing tension and achieving peace and stability in the region, through dialogue and joint coordination.
The 149th session of the GCC Ministerial Council concluded its meeting on Thursday in Riyadh with a final statement that emphasized the need for coordination to decrease tension in the region.
The statement also expressed the participants’ hope that the new Iranian president, Ibrahim Raisi, would assume a positive role in working to reduce tension and build confidence between the GCC and Iran.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein said that his country had benefited from its excellent relations with all neighboring countries and sought to bring together disputing parties under the recent Baghdad summit.
In a joint press conference with the GCC Secretary-General and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and Yemen, Hussein said: “The region is in a dangerous situation, with many disputes and conflicts. Iraq can assume an important role in this regard and the Baghdad conference is a good example.”
He added: “We have strong relations with all neighboring countries and we have been able to bring together contradictions. The goal is to reach a solution to problems.”
The Iraqi minister expressed his country’s concern over the situation in Yemen, stressing his country’s condemnation of the attacks on Saudi Arabia.
“The Yemeni situation can be resolved through dialogue and negotiations; there is no other way. Wars do not lead to results,” he stated.
For his part, Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the current session’s president, said: “We want a safe and prosperous region for all, for Iran and others. The peoples of this region need greater cooperation to achieve this end.”
Zayani said that continuous contacts were taking place between the Gulf States and their neighbors.
“The communication is there, and God willing, we will achieve peace and stability in this important region for the world,” he remarked.
The Bahraini minister revealed that the Council decided to approve a strategic dialogue between the Gulf and Central Asian countries.
Yemen’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said that the GCC ministerial meeting represented a strong message about the necessity to coordinate a common Arab stance towards the region’s challenges.
In response to a question by Asharq Al-Awsat, bin Mubarak said that Yemeni legitimacy “does not make concessions to the Houthi group, but rather to the Yemeni people and their interests.”
He continued: “Whenever we can end the war and avoid its repercussions, we make concessions for the sake of our people. At the same time, we fight desperately, because the Houthis commit suicide on the doorstep of Maarib.”