Question of Palestine home
24 December 1998
GENERAL ASSEMBLY SECURITY COUNCIL
Fifty-third session Fifty-third year
Agenda items 39, 40, 64, 71, 74,
91, 93, 149 and 155
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY -
PREVENTION OF THE VIOLENT
DISINTEGRATION OF STATES
GENERAL AND COMPLETE DISARMAMENT
THE RISK OF NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION
IN THE MIDDLE EAST
MACROECONOMIC POLICY QUESTIONS
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL
UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
MEASURES TO ELIMINATE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
Letter dated 22 December 1998 from the Permanent Representative
of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations addressed
to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit herewith the text of the final communiqué and Abu Dhabi declaration adopted at the nineteenth session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council held in Abu Dhabi from 7 to 9 December 1998.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda items 39, 40, 62, 71, 74, 91, 93, 149 and 155, and of the Security Council.
) Mohammad J. SAMHAN
In response to the kind invitation of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council held its nineteenth session in the United Arab Emirates from 18 to 20 Sha'ban A.H. 1419
(7 to 9 December A.D. 1998), under the presidency of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and with the participation of the following:
His Highness Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Amir of Bahrain;
His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard of Saudi Arabia;
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Sultan of Oman;
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar;
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.
His Excellency Sheikh Jamil Ibrahim al-Hegelan, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, also attended.
The Supreme Council considered developments in the process of cooperation in security, military, economic, social and information fields since the eighteenth session and studied the reports and recommendations submitted by the Ministerial Council. It affirmed the determination of Gulf Cooperation Council States to continue to strengthen and defend the Council's progress towards wider horizons, with a view to realizing improved results in response to the aspirations of the citizens of Council States, and in order to bring security, stability and development to the region.
The Supreme Council gave full consideration to developments in the political and security situations at regional and international levels.
The Supreme Council greatly appreciated the attendance of His Excellency Mr. Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, at the opening meeting, the important speech he made and the meetings he had with the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council States while the session was being held in Abu Dhabi. It commended the role the President played in establishing the excellent relations enjoyed by Council States and the Republic of South Africa, and thanked him for the appreciative remarks he made with respect to the Gulf Cooperation Council and its regional and international role. The Council extended to President Mandela its good wishes for happiness and success in his private and public life in coming years.
The Supreme Council was highly appreciative of the speech delivered by His Excellency Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of France, to the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council States at the opening meeting, in which he expressed his country's friendship and respect for the Council.
The Supreme Council was gratified by the attendance of His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the opening meeting, and greatly appreciated the speech he made and the meetings he had with the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council States. It expressed its approval of and support for the activities of the United Nations and the leading role assigned to it in dealing with international relations, which it performs in a manner that best serves international peace and security and economic, social and human development for all peoples and States of the world. The Supreme Council expressed its pride in the appreciation and respect voiced by the Secretary-General for the Gulf Cooperation Council and its importance in strengthening security, stability and development in the region.
The Supreme Council acknowledged with gratitude the attendance at the opening meeting of the nineteenth session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council of His Excellency Dr. Esmat Abdel Meguid, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and His Excellency Mr. Azzeddine Laraki, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the useful meetings and consultations they held with leaders of Council States.
The Middle East peace process
The Supreme Council considered developments in the Middle East peace process and welcomed the Wye River Memorandum signed on 23 October 1998 by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. This represents an important and positive step that must be followed by further steps towards carrying out all the agreements signed by the parties concerned, upholding all Arab rights and laying the foundations for security, stability and a comprehensive and lasting peace in the best interests of all the peoples of the region. It also expressed its appreciation of the significant efforts made by the President of the United States, Mr. William Clinton, to ensure that the Palestinian and Israeli sides had concluded that agreement. In this context, the Supreme Council demands that the Israeli Government should, without procrastination, honour its obligation to implement the Memorandum in a faithful and scrupulous fashion.
The Supreme Council reaffirmed that the peace which is sought can only be achieved through the restoration of legitimate Arab rights and commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy, the central themes of the Madrid Peace Conference and the principle of land for peace, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). It also reiterated its affirmation that peace will only be just, lasting and comprehensive when the Palestinian people obtains its legitimate national rights, foremost of which is the establishment of an independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital; that Israel must completely withdraw from all occupied Arab territory, including the Syrian Arab Golan, to the boundary line that existed on 4 June 1967, and from southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), without imposing conditions or restrictions, and that the United Nations should remain seized of the matter.
The Supreme Council expressed its absolute rejection and condemnation of the settlement policy pursued by Israel in the occupied Arab territories and of the Israeli Government's decision to expand the geographical boundaries of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and change its demographic composition, considering that decision to be a violation of the provisions of international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy. It reaffirmed its commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy which stipulate that situations resulting from Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories should not be recognized or accepted, and demanded that such activities should cease and that Israel should refrain from any action that could have a negative impact on the final status negotiations with the Palestinian side.
While it appreciates the efforts made by the United States Administration, the Russian Federation, the European Union and its member States to help put the peace process back on track, the Supreme Council urges those States to continue to expand their effective role and bring pressure to bear on Israel to honour its undertakings and carry out its commitments, and to insist on the need for negotiations to be resumed on the Syrian track from the point at which they broke off, as well as on the Lebanese track, in order to achieve peace, security and stability for the region and its peoples.
The elimination of weapons of mass destruction
The Supreme Council renewed its request to the international community to work towards the establishment of a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the Middle East, including the Gulf region. The Council reiterated its affirmation that Israel must accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and place all its nuclear installations under the international inspection system of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Supreme Council looks forward to meeting at its twentieth session, to be held, God willing, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in December 1999, at the kind invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia.
Abu Dhabi, 9 December 1998