Published: Fri, December 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Saudi king urges Gulf to unite against Iran's 'hostility'

Saudi king urges Gulf to unite against Iran's 'hostility'

Riyadh and Washington blame Iran for the assault along with earlier strikes this year on tankers in Gulf waters.

A closed-door meeting lasted barely 20 minutes before a final communique echoed the need to boost military and security cooperation and pledged to create a financial and monetary bloc by 2025.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz presided on Tuesday over the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit that was hosted by Riydah.

In a sign of the changing mood, the Doha delegation received a warm welcome in Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the Qatari prime minister exchanging smiles and pleasantries.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior was seen off upon departure at King Salman Air Base Airport by the Minister of State and member of the Council of Ministers Dr Musaad bin Mohammed Al Aiban.

Since its establishment, the Saudi King said, the GCC has been able to overcome several crises that have hit the region.

"The Iranian regime has continued its aggressive policies in the region that undermine the stability of neighboring countries", King Salman said.

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He also called on the worldwide community to take the necessary measures to ensure energy supplies and the freedom of maritime navigation is secured.

Sheikh Abdullah will be the most senior Qatari official to attend the gathering of Persian Gulf leaders since the emir attended a 2017 summit held in Kuwait, at which Riyadh and its allies sent more junior officials.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: "The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success".

After it was read out, Kuwait's ruling emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who has long pressed to resolve the Qatar dispute, commended the call for unity.

During the meeting, the Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani's term.

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