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I should be grateful if you could have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 41, 42, 54, 97, 98 and 166, and of the Security Council.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai;
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, Amir of Bahrain;
His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar; and
His Excellency Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, representing His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.
His Excellency Sheikh Jamil Ibrahim Al-Hujeilan, GCC Secretary-General, also participated in the meeting.
The leaders of the GCC countries offered their heartfelt congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the throne. They commended the great achievements of his reign in the economic, development and cultural fields and beseeched Almighty God to bestow upon him abundant health so that he might contribute further to the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people and to the continued progress of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
They expressed happiness at the recovery of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, beseeching the Lord to grant him continued health and full vigour and to extend to him His assistance in continuing his leadership of Kuwait and his support for the progress of the Council.
The Supreme Council reviewed the auspicious progress made in joint action in the economic, social, political, military, security, cultural and information fields. It expressed satisfaction at the successes achieved, and it affirmed the desire to advance the GCC process so as to realize the ambitions and aspirations of its peoples to achieve the worthy objectives embodied in the GCC Charter and further enhance the security, stability and development of the GCC States and their peoples, thereby promoting the concept of GCC citizenship in all domains.
The Supreme Council reviewed with great concern the serious deterioration in the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip resulting from the persistent use by the Government of Israel of savage methods of repression against the Palestinian people and its continued pursuit of policies involving closures, blockades and incursions into the territory of the Palestinian Authority and the reoccupation of Palestinian cities, with all the grave consequences and implications of such policies. The Council cautioned in this connection against the consequences of remaining silent at this most grievous situation for the security and stability of the entire region, and it charged the Israeli Government with full responsibility for the state in which the peace process finds itself.
The Council affirmed that the present deterioration and the surge of violence under way are fundamentally due to the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the abandonment of the principles and norms governing the peace process as established by the Madrid conference and the agreements concluded by the two parties. The irresponsible decision of the Israeli Government to suspend contacts with the legitimate Palestinian leadership shows that it is not seriously seeking a just and balanced peace and deprives its participation in the peace process of any credibility.
The Supreme Council affirms its full support for the Palestinian Authority and its leader, His Excellency President Yasser Arafat. It calls upon all segments of the Palestinian people to rally to the support of its legitimate elected leadership and consolidate its national unity for the restoration of all of its legitimate rights, including the right to exercise self-determination and establish an independent State on the soil of its homeland with Jerusalem as its capital.
In renewing its commitment to support for the Palestinian people, the Supreme Council affirms its full readiness to play an active role in contributing to building Palestinian institutions and infrastructure. It urges the international community to act for the achievement of security and peace so that such support will have a positive impact on development in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Council affirmed once more that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace can only be achieved with the restoration to the Palestinian people of all of its legitimate rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital; with Israel’s full withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to the boundary line of 4 June 1967; with the completion of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanese territory, including the Shab`a farmlands, to the internationally recognized boundary in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978); and with the release of all the Lebanese prisoners and abductees being held in Israel’s prisons.
The Supreme Council condemned the policy of escalating the cycle of violence as pursued by the Israeli Government with the neighbouring countries, a policy that is impelling the region to the brink of the abyss and jeopardizing its security and stability. The Council further stressed the importance of differentiating between legitimate resistance to military occupation and terrorism that is to be condemned in all its forms and regardless of its rationale.
The Supreme Council expressed the hope that the efforts currently under way would halt the acts of violence in the Palestinian territories so that there could be a resumption of negotiations between the two sides leading to a peaceful settlement that would restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
The Supreme Council expressed deep appreciation of the great efforts made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, and by his brother, His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to communicate the Arab position on current issues, to stress the need to break the deadlock in the peace process and to affirm the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to establish an independent State on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital.
The Supreme Council welcomed the address given by President George W. Bush at the United Nations, in which he expressed the view of the United States on the establishment of a viable Palestinian State and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as the address given by United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on the concept of a Palestinian State. The Council is of the view that this extremely important development may lay the foundations for security and peace and for the development of all the States of the region. In order to give substance to these positive visions, the Council calls upon the United States to elaborate a mechanism for their implementation that is consistent with the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
The Supreme Council again called upon the international community to take action to transform the Middle East region, including the Gulf, into a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. The Council affirmed once more that Israel must accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and submit all its nuclear facilities to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspection regime.