GCC united on Ukraine crisis, says Saudi FM

The ministerial council affirmed its support for mediation efforts to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine and a cease-fire, it said in a joint statement following the meeting.

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday said the Gulf countries are united on their position on Ukraine.

Speaking during a joint ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Russia in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Prince Faisal said the bloc’s position on Iran was also united by its call to abide by international law.

The ministerial council affirmed its support for mediation efforts to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine and a cease-fire, it said in a joint statement following the meeting.

It also expressed its support for all efforts to facilitate the export of grain and all food and humanitarian supplies from Ukraine to provide food security for the affected countries.

Prince Faisal also said that the GCC is keen to support all efforts to reach a just political solution in Yemen.

The council called on countries to classify Yemen’s Houthi militia as a terrorist group, impose arms embargoes on them, and to confront the dangerous spread of missile and drone technology used by non-governmental extremist parties in Yemen and elsewhere.

GCC foreign ministers stressed the need for Iran nuclear negotiations to address its destabilizing behavior in the region, its sponsorship of terrorism, its missile program, and the safety of international navigation and oil installations.

The ministers also said they rejected Iran’s continued occupation of the three UAE islands, stressing support for the Emirates’ sovereignty over its territorial waters and airspace.

They also condemned the assassination of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli occupation forces, and called on the international community to open an investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.

The ministers welcomed an EU statement last month condemning Israel’s plans to build 4,400 settlement units in the West Bank, and called on Israeli authorities to halt such measures that violate international laws and threaten prospects for peace.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the GCC countries understand the nature of the conflict between his country and the West, adding: “Our partners in the Gulf have confirmed that they will not join the sanctions against Russia.”

He added that there are risks that a third country could become involved in the Ukraine conflict due to supplies of rocket launchers.

He called for Syria to return to its membership status in the Arab League, and said Russia supports the new Yemeni Presidential Council and the current truce, which it hopes will be extended.

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