The European Council and Gulf Countries Council (GCC) condemned the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stressing the importance of boosting relations and enhancing cooperation. This came at the end of their 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.
The EU and GCC share an interest in addressing global challenges such as green and digital transition, climate change, and counter-terrorism.
The meeting resumed high-level institutional engagement between the two organizations and discussed concrete ways to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on regional and global challenges.
EU’s Vice President and High Representative and Vice President Josep Borrell chaired the European delegation, and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan chaired the Gulf delegation.
The meeting was attended by EU and GCC foreign ministers and GCC Sec-Gen Nayef al-Hajraf.
It was held in Brussels on Feb. 21 and addressed regional issues of mutual concern and explored ways to step up EU-GCC cooperation.
The attendees exchanged views on issues of common interest, including the peace process in the Middle East, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The ministers stressed the urgent need to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen, calling for an unconditional ceasefire. They strongly condemned the Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The ministers reiterated their concern over the lack of progress in resolving the dispute between the UAE and Iran over the three islands, Abu Musa Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
They supported the peaceful settlement of this conflict under international law and condemned the proliferation of ballistic missiles and drone systems used in hundreds of attacks against civilians, civilian infrastructure, and the Global Coalition Against ISIS.
The ministers agreed on continuing joint international efforts to enhance stability and prosperity in Iraq.
The meeting addressed the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria.
The top officials agreed to provide essential aid in all Syrian regions as part of implementing a plan United Nations humanitarian response.
The ministers urged the Lebanese government to take quick and effective decisions to initiate the much-needed reforms to enable a quick conclusion of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
They stressed the importance of holding free, fair, and transparent parliamentary elections in May 2022.
On the Middle East peace process, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, based on the 1967 lines and UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 2334, and other relevant UN resolutions.
They called for ending escalations in Jerusalem, noting that the city should be recognized as the capital of Palestine and Israel.
Regarding the situation in Libya, the ministers reaffirmed their support for the UN efforts to hold free, fair, inclusive, and credible presidential and parliamentary elections.
After the meeting, the GCC and EU officials agreed to hold their next meeting in 2023 in the Gulf region.