Bahrain Mirror: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders ended their 37th Summit in Manama (Wednesday December 7, 2016). The closing statement did not break new ground in the "Gulf Union" file, which was heavily promoted in Gulf press during the past few days.
In the closing statement, consisting of 76 points, the GCC leaders said they discussed the latest consultations regarding the Union, were "the Supreme Council was directed to continue the efforts to move from the cooperation stage to the union stage." This effectively means the end of the idea launched by later Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.
With regard to Bahrain, the GCC praised the efforts of security apparatuses in "thwarting terrorist plots and arresting terrorist organizations members entrusted with implementing plans, supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the terrorist group Hezbollah, which aimed at implementing a series of terrorist acts in the Kingdom of Bahrain."
The closing statement did not break new grounds. As for the Yemeni file, the GCC condemned in its statement Ansarullah (Houthis), and the supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and accused them of sowing discord. It further praised the Saudi-led forces in the war on Yemen, and rejected the national salvation government recently formed in Sanaa.
With respect to Hezbollah, the Council reiterated considering it a terrorist organization, stressing its commitment to "taking the necessary measures for the implementation of its procedures in this regard."
Moreover, the GCC condemned the issuance of the US Congress Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) act, which allows families of September 11 events' victims to sue Saudi Arabia, saying the law is contrary to the fixed principles in international law.
The Council reiterated the importance of commitment to the implementation of the GCC Railway project, and called for the continuation of discussing other issues.
With regard to Iran, the Council stressed its rejection of the occupation of the three UAE islands, calling on Tehran to respond to the UAE's efforts to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, or resort to the International Court.
Furthermore, the GCC reasserted its rejection of Iran's interference in the affairs of the Gulf countries, calling on Tehran to change its policies in the region, and not to embrace what it called "terrorist groups, including Hezbollah."
The GCC claimed that Iran is fully responsible for depriving Iranian the Hajj and Umrah rituals, for refusing to sign a report of Iranian pilgrims affairs arrangements with the Ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, and further denounced what it dubbed "the politicization of Hajj, and its exploitation to abuse Saudi Arabia."
The GCC also accused Iran of "supporting terrorism, training terrorists, smuggling weapons and explosives, and inciting sectarian strife" in the Gulf countries, including Bahrain.
Regarding Syria, the GCC welcomed the Human Rights Council resolution condemning the gross and systematic violations committed by the Syrian regime, while strongly condemning raids by regime forces on Aleppo. It also condemned the alleged Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons.
On Iraq, the Council expressed its support for the Baghdad government in the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, yet stressed that the liberation of regions ought to be led by the Iraqi Army and tribesmen citizens. The Gulf council also condemned what it considered "crimes committed on sectarian basis against civilians in the liberated areas."