The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and the United States met today in New York City to coordinate on efforts to promote their shared vision of a stable, peaceful and prosperous Middle East, and to intensify their consultations as partners and friends.
The Ministers welcomed the trilateral meeting among President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and President Abbas on September 22, and expressed their hope for rapid progress towards the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Ministers welcomed President Obama’s important statement before the UN General Assembly which calls for the re-launching of negotiations – without preconditions – that address the permanent status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem. The Ministers reiterated their call for a freeze on settlement activities. They expressed their continued support for an independent, viable, and democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel, with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Road Map, and the Arab Peace Initiative. They reiterated their full support for the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian government led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and their efforts to build the institutions of a future state. The Ministers also reiterated their support for achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The Ministers encourage Iran to engage constructively and expressed their hope that the planned meeting between Iran and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany on October 1 will begin a process that resolves international concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities.
The Ministers recognized that Iraq has made significant gains in the past year and expressed support for the Iraqi people and government as they face challenges, such as the horrific August 19 terrorist attacks on the foreign and finance ministries, and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators. The Ministers categorically condemn all terrorist attacks and expressed support for every effort endeavoring at restoring peace, security, and stability in Iraq. The Ministers also expressed support for Iraq as it prepares for 2010 national elections. The Ministers underlined the importance of regional support to the government of Iraq and the Iraqi people in their efforts to achieve a prosperous, united, and democratic Iraq that lives in peace with itself and with its neighbors and respects its international obligations. The Ministers stressed the principle of non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.
The Ministers further noted their concern for the situation in Yemen. The Ministers expressed full support for the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh; for the unity, security, and stability of Yemen; and for efforts for a peaceful dialogue. The Ministers underscored the importance of ensuring the security of civilians and relief workers, and the provision for the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to civilians affected by the conflict. The Ministers reiterated their support for the Yemeni government’s economic and governance reform initiatives, and their willingness to continue to assist Yemen in improving the lives of its people.
The Ministers, recalling previous meetings of this group, emphasized the importance of continuing these meetings under this configuration of states in order to exchange views and consider common approaches to key issues that affect their shared goals for the region.
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